Wednesday, September 27, 2017, 7:00 p.m., City Lights Booksellers, 261 Columbus Avenue, San Francisco
reading from his new novel
The Age of Perpetual Light
from Grove Press
A dazzling new work that spans a century and eight tales of light, human progress, and the search for a better life from Josh Weil, one of "the most gifted writers of his generation" (Colum McCann), winner of the Sue Kaufman Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters
Following his debut Dayton Literary Peace Prize-winning novel, The Great Glass Sea, Josh Weil brings together stories selected from a decade of work in a stellar new collection. Beginning at the dawn of the past century, in the early days of electrification, and moving into an imagined future in which the world is lit day and night, The Age of Perpetual Light follows deeply-felt characters through different eras in American history: from a Jewish dry goods peddler who falls in love with an Amish woman while showing her the wonders of an Edison Lamp, to a 1940 farmers' uprising against the unfair practices of a power company; a Serbian immigrant teenage boy in 1990's Vermont desperate to catch a glimpse of an experimental satellite, to a back-to-the-land couple forced to grapple with their daughter’s autism during winter’s longest night.
Brilliantly hewn and piercingly observant, these are tales that speak to the all-too-human desire for advancement and the struggle of wounded hearts to find a salve, no matter what the cost. This is a breathtaking book from one of our brightest literary lights.
Josh Weil was awarded the Sue Kaufman Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters for his novella collection, The New Valley. A National Book Award "Five Under Thirty-Five" author, he has received fellowships from the Fulbright Foundation, Columbia University, the MacDowell Colony, Bread Loaf, and Sewanee. His fiction has appeared in Granta, Esquire, One Story, and Tin House.
Praise for The Age of Perpetual Light
"A rich, often dazzling collection of short stories linked by themes while ranging widely in style from Babel-like fables to gritty noir and sci-fi . . . engrossing, persuasively detailed and written with a deep affection for the way language can, in masterful hands, convey us to marvelous new worlds."—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"How much wattage does it take to illuminate the darkest corners of the human heart? In eight complex, luminous and light bearing stories, and with endless compassion for his superbly drawn characters, Josh Weil has the audacity to ask such a question, knowing full well that the answer may be: more than we have ever, or will ever have."—Pam Houston, author of Contents May Have Shifted
"Josh Weil is a lamplighter, the best possible kind. He moves us into each of these earthy, elegant stories and suddenly the light changes in ways we couldn't have imagined. The Age of Perpetual Light is a special book woven with generosity and grit as it works against the dark to take the true measure of kinship." — Ron Carlson