Literature Program

Tuesday, May 5, 2009 at 7:00 p.m.


Talking Leaves...Books & Hallwalls present:

John Wray

Lowboy: A Novel

A book signing & complimentary reception for the author will follow upstairs in Hallwalls' Gallery

Buffalo native John Wray, one of the most acclaimed young writers in the U.S., will return home for a reading and book signing to celebrate publication of his new novel Lowboy. This event is free and open to the public; books are available now at both Talking Leaves locations, and will be available for purchase at the reading.

Lowboy is perhaps the most talked-about novel of 2009, and placing John Wray in the upper echelon of young American novelists. The publisher describes the book:

"Early one morning in New York City, Will Heller, a sixteen-year old paranoid schizophrenic, gets on an uptown B Train alone. Like most people he knows, Will believes the world is being destroyed by climate change; unlike most people, he's convinced he can do something about it. Unknown to his doctors, unknown to the police—unknown even to Violet Heller, his devoted mother—Will alone holds the key to the planet's salvation. To cool down the world, he has to cool down his own overheating body: to cool down his body, he has to find one willing girl. And he already has someone in mind.

"Lowboy, John Wray's third novel, tells the story of Will's fantastic and terrifying odyssey through the city's tunnels, back alleys, and streets in search of Emily Wallace, his one great hope, and of Violet Heller's desperate attempts to locate her son before psychosis claims him completely. She is joined by Ali Lateef, a missing-persons specialist, who gradually comes to discover that more is at stake than the recovery of a runaway teen: Violet—beautiful, enigmatic, and as profoundly at odds with the world as her son—harbors a secret that Lateef will discover at his own peril.

"Suspenseful and comic, devastating and hopeful by turns, Lowboy is a fearless exploration of youth, sex, and violence in contemporary America, seen through one boy's haunting and extraordinary vision."

Reviews have been plentiful and full of high praise for Wray's writing skill and psychological and social insights, and for his tender and humane treatment of a troubled and troubling, emotionally disturbed character. Words and phrases plucked at random from some of them: ", moving, deeply imaginative (Izzy Greenspan, TimeOutNY), "...uncompromising, gripping...meticulously constructed" (Charles Bock, NY Times Book Review), "...exceptionally tender and acute...Wray is a daring young writer (James Wood, The New Yorker), "...marvelous, unpredictable...demands your attention (Joshua Mohr, The Rumpus); "...a tour de force of empathy, style, and imagination (Booklist).

Talking Leaves has hosted readings for both of John Wray's earlier novels, The Right Hand of Sleep and Canaan's Tongue, and is pleased to partner with Hallwalls for the Buffalo debut this stunning new book. Wray was named one of Granta magazine's Best of Young American Novelists in 2007. The recipient of a Whiting Award, he now lives in Brooklyn, New York. He spent much of his childhood in Buffalo, and is a graduate of Nichols School.

Some publications related to this event:
May, 2009 - 2009

t: 716-854-1694
f: 716-854-1696

Tues.—Fri. 11-6
Sat. 11-2
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from Sep. 22, 2017
through Nov. 3, 2017

David Schirm
All The Glad Variety

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