Garth Greenwell with Christopher Frizzelle
Novelist Garth Greenwell first visited Elliott Bay to read from his debut, What Belongs to You, which was a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award and won the British Book Award for Debut of the Year. Tonight is his much anticipated return, to read from Cleanness (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), which has quickly become one of the most talked about and lauded novels of 2020. In Cleanness, which is set in Sophia, Bulgaria, an American teacher navigates a life transformed by the discovery and loss of love. “As he prepares to leave the place he's come to call home, he grapples with the intimate encounters that have marked his years abroad, each bearing uncanny reminders of his past. A queer student's confession recalls his own first love, a stranger's seduction devolves into paternal sadism, and a romance with another foreigner opens, and heals, old wounds. Each echo reveals startling insights about what it means to seek connection: with those we love, with the places we inhabit, and with our own fugitive selves.”
"Cleanness is an impressive book: moving, radical, both beautiful and violent, unexpected. Garth Greenwell is a major writer, and his writing provides us tools to affirm ourselves, to exist-- to fight."--Édouard Louis.
Garth Greenwell appears in conversation with Christopher Frizzelle, longtime editor and writer at The Stranger.