Francisco Goldman with Rivka Galchen
This evening helps mark the welcome return of Francisco Goldman, virtually here with his first novel in a decade - and what a novel Monkey Boy (Grove Press) is. The author of The Long Night of White Chickens, The Ordinary Seaman, The Divine Husband, and Say Her Name received several awards among them. His non-fiction books, The Art of Political Murder and The Interior Circuit: A Mexico City Chronicle, also received honors. Then, Monkey Boy: “Francisco Goldman . . . Francisco Goldberg? . . . Frankie Gee!—crafter of the tenderest dirtiest love scenes!—the wisest and spookiest children!—the fathers whose monstrosity breaks our hearts with compassion for them—who else can do all this? Francisco Goldman is uncategorizable, as is this book which made me grow a second heart just to contain all its fierce tenderness. Goldman has been my literary hero from his first entrancing Long Night of White Chickens to this latest take-no-prisoners Monkey Boy. He is a true original, that rarest of writers, the kind we cannot live without.”—Susan Choi.
“From the painful intimate violence in a suburban New England home, to racial cruelty among high school teenagers, to the US government’s political and military interventionism in Latin America, Goldman’s sweeping gaze runs through multiple circuits of America’s violence, showing us how deeply connected they in fact are. With the exact balance of outrage and hope, Monkey Boy takes us on an eye-opening journey, full of tenderness and horror, through the often-ignored layers of this country’s history. A powerful, necessary book.”—Valeria Luiselli. “Francisco Goldman, one of our most brilliant political writers, is also, miraculously, a Chekhov of the heart. This novel is wild, funny, and wrenching, as well as a profound act of retrieval and transformation.”—Rivka Galchen.
Rivka Galchen, the same just-quoted, herself the author of numerous excellent books, including the fabulous forthcoming novel, Everyone Knows Your Mother is a Witch (due June 8, from Farrar, Straus & Giroux), will join Francisco Goldman this evening in conversation. Which should be a terrific one.
Signed bookplates for Monkey Boy should be available.