Available now wherever books and e-books are sold.
"Brock Clarke is a one-of-a-kind novelist with a captivating voice."
Author Tom Perrotta nails it with this description of Brock Clarke, bestselling author of An Arsonist's Guide to Writers' Homesin New England. Brock's writing pulls you in with its wit and insight and takes you on a nonstop literary road trip. His latest gem, Who Are You, Calvin Bledsoe? combines the comic unpredictability of Wes Anderson with an international journey of self-discovery reminiscent of Andrew Sean Greer's Less.
Get to know a little more about this memorable author—and his unforgettable new title character, Calvin Bledsoe. Read on, friends . . .
About the book
After Calvin Bledsoe's mother dies in a fiery explosion, our narrator's heretofore uninspired life is irrevocably upended. A mysterious stranger shows up at the funeral, claiming to be his aunt Beatrice, and insists that Calvin accompany her on a trip to Europe . . . immediately. What follows is an absurdly extraordinary adventure, as Calvin and his aunt encounter a menagerie of antiquities thieves, secret agents, and religious fanatics—and Calvin begins to suspect that he might not be who he thought he was.
“A wild ride of a book. A story in which anything and everything can happen, and mostly does. This is a book of many trips—across oceans, back to the past, and, most profoundly, into the infinite deep space of the human heart.” —Ben Fountain, author of Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk
Here's some key info about our narrator: Name: Calvin Bledsoe (named by his mother, a recently deceased and internationally renowned expert on theologian John Calvin). Age: Middle. Occupation: Pellet-stove industry blogger. (Says Calvin: "The professional blogger basically has two fears: that no one reads his posts and that someone reads his posts and can't wait to tell him how much she doesn't like them.") Marital status: Newly divorced from/currently being stalked by Dawn. Residence: Burned to the ground in Maine. Current location: Parts unknown in Europe with his aunt Beatrice (we think she's his aunt). Current status: Dodging antiquities thieves, secret agents, religious fanatics (see above re: Aunt Beatrice). Kidnapped.
About how Brock came to write the book about Calvin Bledsoe
In this essay, Brock explains how he came to write Who Are You, Calvin Bledsoe?, which apparently came out of two other novels:
"Novels come from other novels. Writers and readers might think they come from other things—life, for instance—and of course that’s also true (one couldn’t entirely keep one’s life out of a novel even if one wanted to, and there are plenty of reasons why one might want to), but life cannot teach you how to write a novel, and life cannot remind you why you wanted to write a novel in the first place. You want to write a novel because you want to feel, and want your readers to feel, the way you felt when you first read the novels you’ve loved."
"Brock Clarke is a genius. His writing is consistently brilliant and stylish, which makes the quiet moments of human understanding even more striking. I LOVE this book—it is unexpected (like all his work—how can that be??) and surprising and profoundly moving. Fans of Jim Shepard and George Saunders will love him, as always, and this book about a middle-aged man whose discovery of a secret aunt (is she a spy? a fake? his mom? crazy?) who leads him across Europe in pursuit of . . . well, he isn't quite sure yet. I LAUGHED out loud, I chortled, I snickered quietly, I gasped. I can see putting this book in the hands of fans of Less by Andrew Sean Greer and Where'd You Go, Bernadette—readers who like to be surprised."
Here's some more love for Who Are You, Calvin Bledsoe?
"Joyous, melancholic, and funny." —Booklist
"Unquestionably the funniest novel ever written about Calvinism.” —Kirkus Reviews
"Clarke takes his readers into his safe—and wacky—hands for an experience that should not be missed. A wonderful read.” —Elizabeth Strout, author of Anything Is Possible
Our mailing address is: Algonquin Books P.O. Box 2225 Chapel Hill, NC 27515