Andrew Martin: Early Work
Join us for a reading with novelist Andrew Martin, who will be reading from his debut novel, Early Work. This event is cosponsored by WriterHouse and will be free and open to the public. Refreshments will be provided.
For young writers of a certain temperament—if they haven’t had such notions beaten out of them by MFA programs and the Internet—the delusion persists that great writing must be sought in what W. B. Yeats once called the “foul rag and bone shop of the heart.” That’s where Peter has been looking for inspiration for his first novel—that is, when he isn’t teaching at the local women’s prison, walking his dog, getting high, or wondering where things stand with his college girlfriend, a medical student whose night shifts have become a standing rebuke to his lack of direction. When Peter meets Leslie, a sexual adventurer taking a break from her fiancé, he gets a glimpse of what he wishes and imagines himself to be: a writer of talent and nerve. Her rag-and-bone shop may be as squalid as his own, but at least she knows her way around the shelves. Over the course of a Virginia summer, their charged, increasingly intimate friendship opens the door to difficult questions about love and literary ambition, as Leslie’s story begins to edge out Peter’s own. With a keen sense of irony undercut by an unabashed romantic streak, Andrew Martin’s Early Work marks the debut of a writer as funny and attentive as any novelist of his generation.
Andrew Martin’s stories have appeared in The Paris Review, Zyzzyva, and Tin House’s Flash Fridays series, and his nonfiction has been published by The New Yorker, The New York Review of Books, The Washington Post, and other publications. Early Work is his first novel.