Not sure how this one escaped my notice - when in doubt, I now blame everything on the kid - but there's a must-see reading this Sunday. Edward St. Aubyn, whose Patrick Melrose novels have been rapturously received from likes of Zadie Smith and Francine Prose, will be at Skylight Books at 5 p.m. Here's what Prose had to say last Sunday:
St. Aubyn’s books are at once extremely dark and extremely funny. In “Bad News,” Patrick visits New York, where his father has just died. “It was late May, it was hot, and he really ought to take off his overcoat, but his overcoat was his defense against the thin shards of glass that passers-by slipped casually under his skin, not to mention the slow-motion explosion of shop windows, the bone-rattling thunder of subway trains and the heartbreaking passage of each second, like a grain of sand trickling through the hourglass of his body. No, he would not take off his overcoat. Do you ask a lobster to disrobe?” In “At Last,” a minor character is described as having three drawbacks as a guest: “She was incapable of saying please, incapable of saying thank you and incapable of saying sorry, all the while creating a surge in the demand for these expressions.” Meanwhile, the humor is deepened by our sense that the dazzling pyrotechnics of Patrick’s banter have become a source of pain. In his own witticisms, he now hears echoes of the “pure contempt” of his father’s mocking humor.
I'm actually considered stamping my passport and making the trek from the Palisades. Details here. Even I can't get there, you should most definitely go.