Jarett Kobek musing on the existential psychedelia of Mohammed Atta
Wednesday, January 18, 2012, 7:00 P.M., City Lights Bookstore, San Francisco, CA

Jarett is joined by Katrina Palmer

celebrating the release of

ATTA

published by Semiotext(e)

Jarett Kobek talks about ATTA, a psychedelic biography of lead 9/11 hijacker Mohamed Atta. Presented with a series of videos and images, Kobek discusses the nature of his project, the research methodology employed, existential inquiries into terrorism, the collusion of tyranny and the literary arts, and why Norman Mailer has a bad rap.

Appearing live via Skype from London will be artist and novelist Katrina Palmer. Palmer will read from ATTA and her own book The Dark Object.


Praise for ATTA:

"This is an unsettling book on several levels… Ultimately not a book to be received and accepted; it is a text requiring its readers to wrestle with its content and more forward into the questions it leaves open…" – Spencer Dew, Rain Taxi

"Kobek's method of layering those things we hold most sacred with those we abhor, creates an healthfully unsettling mental texture." – John Cotter, Open Letters Monthly

"Highly absorbing… some of this works well…" – Keith Miller, Times Literary Supplement

more about ATTA:
Ours is a century of fear. Governments and mass media bombard us with words and images: desert radicals, "rogue states," jihadists, WMDs, existential enemies of freedom. We labor beneath myths that neither address nor describe the present situation, monstrous deceptions produced by a sound bite society. There is no reckoning of actuality, no understanding of the individual lives that inaugurated this echo chamber.

In the summer of 1999, Mohamed Atta defended a master's thesis that critiqued the introduction of Western-style skyscrapers in the Middle East and called for the return of the “Islamic-Oriental city.” Using this as a departure point, Jarett Kobek's novel ATTA offers a fictionalized psychedelic biography of Mohamed Atta that circles around a simple question: what if 9/11 was as much a matter of architectural criticism as religious terrorism? Following the development of a socially awkward boy into one of history's great villains, Kobek demonstrates the need for a new understanding of global terrorism. Joined in this volume by a second work, “The Whitman of Tikrit”–a radical reimagining of Saddam Hussein’s last day before capture–ATTA is a brutal, relentless, and ultimately fearless corrective to ten years of propaganda and pandering.

Jarett Kobek is an internationally published writer living in California. His Pushcart Prize-nominated fiction has been anthologized alongside Haruki Murakami and F. X. Toole. His first novel was commissioned and published by Book Works of London as part of the experimental literature Semina series. visit http://kobek.com/


Katrina Palmer is an artist and writer who lives in London. Her first book, The Dark Object, was published by Book Works in 2010. 2011 work includes: live performances at Again, A Time Machine Motto, Berlin and at These Silences Edinburgh Festival; mmmm a CD for Art House Foundation, London; Relief a short story in the Modern British Sculpture catalogue, Royal Academy, London.

Interview with Katrina Palmer