These books create a stunning portrait of contemporary American life.
Our favorite books of the year.
From the 16 epigraphs that open Rodrigo Fresán’s astonishingly ambitious novel through its 550 pages of how-the-hell-could-a-mere-mortal-possibly-compose-something-this-magnificent, The Invented Part spans the scope of our hypertechnical age, sending up and taking down so much of our contemporary world. Fresán masterfully weaves so many pop culture threads (most notably F. Scott Fitzgerald, Pink Floyd, and Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey) into his metafictional foray that it quite nearly exposes the thin line between reality and fiction to be an engulfing chasm. With its acerbic humor, acrimonious critique, vivacious storytelling, and ridiculously imaginative plot, The Invented Part is a roaring good time. Recommended By Jeremy G., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
An aging writer, disillusioned with the state of literary culture, attempts to disappear in the most cosmically dramatic manner: traveling to the Hadron Collider, merging with the God particle, and transforming into an omnipresent deity — a meta-writer — capable of rewriting reality.
With biting humor and a propulsive, contagious style, amid the accelerated particles of his characteristic obsessions — the writing of F. Scott Fitzgerald, the music of Pink Floyd and The Kinks, 2001: A Space Odyssey, the links between great art and the lives of the artists who create it — Fresán takes us on a whirlwind tour of writers and muses, madness and genius, friendships, broken families, and alternate realities, exploring themes of childhood, loss, memory, aging, and death.
Drawing inspiration from the scope of modern classics and the structural pyrotechnics of the postmodern masters, the Argentine once referred to as “a pop Borges” delivers a powerful defense of great literature, a celebration of reading and writing, of the invented parts — the stories we tell ourselves to give shape to our world.
“Rodrigo Fresán is a marvelous writer, a direct descendent of Adolfo Bioy Casares and Jorge Luis Borges, but with his own voice and of his own time.” John Banville
“A kaleidoscopic, open-hearted, shamelessly polymathic storyteller, the kind who brings a blast of oxygen into the room.” Jonathan Lethem
About the Author
Rodrigo Fresán is the author of nine novels, including Kensington Gardens, Mantra, and The Bottom of the Sky. His works incorporate many elements from science-fiction (Philip K. Dick in particular) alongside pop culture and literary references.
Will Vanderhyden received an MA in Literary Translation Studies from the University of Rochester. He has translated fiction by Carlos Labbé, Edgardo Cozarinsky, Alfredo Bryce Echenique, Juan Marsé, Rafael Sánchez Ferlosio, Rodrigo Fresán, and Elvio Gandolfo. He received an NEA Fellowship to work on The Invented Part.