East City Bookshop welcomes author Brock Clarke as he discusses his new novel Who Are You, Calvin Bledsoe? with author Louis Bayard.
With the comic unpredictability of a Wes Anderson movie and the inventive sharpness of a John Irving novel, author Brock Clarke introduces readers to an ordinary man who is about to embark on an absurdly extraordinary adventure.
After his mother, a theologian and bestselling author, dies in a fiery explosion, forty-nine-year-old Calvin Bledsoe’s heretofore uninspired life is upended. A stranger shows up at the funeral, claiming to be Calvin’s aunt Beatrice, and insists that Calvin accompany her on a trip to Europe, immediately. As he and Beatrice traverse the continent, it quickly becomes apparent that his aunt’s clandestine behavior is leading him into danger. Facing a comic menagerie of antiquities thieves, secret agents, religious fanatics, and an ex-wife who’s stalking him, Calvin begins to suspect there might be some meaning behind the madness. Maybe he’s not the person he thought he was? Perhaps no one is who they appear to be? But there’s little time for soul-searching, as Calvin first has to figure out why he has been kidnapped, why his aunt disappeared, and who the hell burned down his house.
Powered by pitch-perfect dialogue, lovable characters, and surprising optimism, Who Are You, Calvin Bledsoe? is a modern-day Travels with My Aunt, a novel about grabbing life, and holding on--wherever it may take you.
Brock Clarke is the author of five novels, as well as three collections of short stories, the most recent being The Price of the Haircut. His many awards include The Mary McCarthy Prize, two Pushcart Prizes, and the longlist for the International MPAC Dublin Literary Award. He lives in Portland, Maine, and teaches at Bowdoin College.
Louis Bayard is a New York Times Notable Book author and has been shortlisted for both the Edgar and Dagger awards for his historical thrillers, which include The Pale Blue Eye and Mr. Timothy. His most recent novel was Courting Mr. Lincoln. He lives in Washington, DC, and teaches at George Washington University. Visit him online at www.louisbayard.com.