Tag Archive for 'Joe Meno'

Stephen Elliott and Joe Meno

Nov ’09
3:00 pm

Don’t miss Stephen Elliott Reading From The Adderall Diaries, with  Joe Meno, author of The Great Perhaps.

In the spring of 2007, a brilliant computer programmer named Hans Reiser stands accused of murdering his estranged wife, Nina. Despite a mountain of circumstantial evidence against him, he proclaims his innocence. The case takes a twist when Nina’s former lover, and Hans’s former best friend, Sean Sturgeon, confesses to eight unrelated murders that no one has ever heard of.

At the time of Sturgeon’s confession, Stephen Elliot is paralyzed by writer’s block, in the thrall of Adderall dependency, and despondent over the state of his romantic life. But he is fascinated by Sturgeon, whose path he has often crossed in San Francisco’s underground S&M scene. What kind of person, he wonders, confesses to a murder he likely did not commit? One answer is, perhaps, a man like Elliott’s own father.

So begins a riveting journey through a neon landscape of false confessions, self-medication, and torturous sex. Set against the backdrop of a nation at war, in the declining years of the Silicon Valley tech boom and the dawn of Paris Hilton’s celebrity, The Adderall Diaries is at once a gripping account of a murder trial and a scorching investigation of the self. Tough, tender, and unflinchingly honest, it is the breakout book by one of the most daring writers of his generation. For more info: www.stephenelliott.com

Reading with Stephen Elliott is local author Joe Meno.

“Meno’s distinctively imaginative and compassionate fiction is forged at the intersection of ordinariness and astonishment. In this tragicomic family drama, his fifth novel, [The Great Perhaps], he creates a topsy-turvy household. Jonathan and Madeline Casper, timid and insular, are scientists at the University of Chicago. He is devoted to the elusive giant squid and prone to seizures at the sight of a cloud; she is conducting a bizarrely disastrous lab experiment involving pigeons. Amelia, the older of their two teen daughters, is suspended for writing inflammatory editorials in the school paper, while Thisbe has taken to ardent prayer. With anxiety running high over the Iraq War and the 2004 election, Madeline takes off in pursuit of a strange man-shaped cloud; Jonathan hides in a child’s fort of sheet-draped furniture; their valiant, neglected daughters run amok, and Henry, Jonathan’s ailing father, escapes from the nursing home. As Meno masterfully, and meaningfully, conflates the fantastic with the everyday, he reaches back to Henry’s broken childhood and a stint in a World War II internment camp for German Americans. Tender, funny, spooky, and gripping, Meno’s novel encompasses a subtle yet devastating critique of war; sensitively traces the ripple effect of a dark legacy of nebulousness, guilt, and fear; and evokes both heartache and wonder.” –Booklist

Book Release Party With Joe Meno & Friends For Meno’s New novel, The Great Perhaps!

May ’09
7:00 pm


In his new novel, The Great Perhaps, local Chicago writer Joe Meno continues to employ his keen observations of human nature, this time exploring the tumultuous landscapes of a contemporary Chicago family. The narrative rotates between members of the Casper family, giving each time and space to dig into their respective quirks. Jonathan, the father, is a scientist caught in a quest for a prehistoric squid and is prone to seizures at the sight of clouds. Madeline, Jonathan’s wife, also a scientist, studies the behavior of her murderous lab pigeons and is distressed by the growing distance between family members: elder daughter Amelia is a teenage anticapitalist crusader already becoming weary of the fight; youngest daughter Thisbe’s desire to find God is met with much concern from her atheist parents; grandfather Henry’s sole desire is to make himself disappear. As the family’s preoccupations rattle on and bang up against one another, the recently begun war in Iraq provides background noise and another dimension to the intricate and intimate tale. Meno’s handle on the written word is fresh and inviting, conjuring a story that delves deeply into the human heart.

Joe Meno is the best-selling author of the novels Hairstyles of the Damned, The Boy Detective Fails, How the Hula Girl Sings, and Tender As Hellfire. He was the winner of the 2003 Nelson Algren Award for short fiction and is a professor of creative writing at Columbia College Chicago.

Also performing: Jonathan Messinger, Timeout Chicago Books Editor and author of Hiding Out! Jon Resh, author of Amped and musical accompaniment by The Astronomer!

Joe Meno and Arthur Nersesian

Sep ’08
7:00 pm

Joe Meno with Arthur Nersesian at Quimby’s!

Join authors Joe Meno and Arthur Nersesian as the read signs copies of their newest books

Demons in the Spring is a collection of twenty short stories by Joe Meno with illustrations by twenty artists from the fine art, graphic art, and comic book worlds–including Charles Burns, Archer Prewitt, Ivan Brunetti, Jay Ryan, Paul Hornschemeier, Anders Nilsen, Geoff McFedtridge, Kelsey Brookes, Kim Hiorthoy, Caroline Hwang, Rachell Sumpter, KOZYNDAN, Evan Hecox, and Cody Hudson.

Oddly modern moments which occur in the most familiar of public places, from offices to airports to schools to zoos to emergency rooms: a young girl who refuses to go anywhere unless she’s dressed as a ghost; a bank robbery in Stockholm gone terribly wrong; a teacher who’s become enamored with the students in his school’s Model United Nations club; a couple affected by a strange malady–a miniature city which has begun to develop in the young woman’s chest, these inventive stories are hilarious, heartbreaking, and unusual. While many of them have never been previously published, others have been featured in the likes of LIT, Other Voices, Swink, TriQuarterly, and McSweeney’s.

Joe Meno is the best-selling author of the novels Hairstyles of the Damned, The Boy Detective Fails, How the Hula Girl Sings, and Tender As Hellfire. He was the winner of the 2003 Nelson Algren Award for short fiction and is a professor of creative writing at Columbia College Chicago

Arthur Nersesian will also be on hand to read from his newest book The Sacrificial Circumcision of the Bronx, the highly anticipated follow-up to The Swing Voter of Staten Island–the first two installments in Nersesian’s series of novels offering an alternate history of New York: The Five Books of Moses.

Robert Moses was responsible for creating contemporary New York’s infrastructure, but he did so at the cost of destroying neighborhoods. In this novel, Robert has looted his brother Paul’s share of the Moses family fortune, repeatedly blocked his attempts at gaining public office, thwarted his career in the private sector, and set in motion events that will decimate Paul’s home life. Paul Moses’s deep-seated rage metamorphoses into an act of terrorism committed against his brother and against a city that he once cherished.

Although it can be read as a stand-alone novel about Robert and Paul Moses, The Sacrificial Circumcision of the Bronx is also a memory play that follows Uli Sarkisian–the hero of The Swing Voter of Staten Island–en route to solving a massive historical crime, while desperately struggling to escape from becoming another one of its victims.

Arthur Nersesian is the author of eight novels, including the smash hit The Fuck-Up (more than 100,00 copies sold), Chinese Takeout (HarperCollins), Manhattan Loverboy (Akashic), Suicide Casanova (Akashic), dogrun (MTV Books/Simon & Schuster), and Unlubricated (HarperCollins), and, most recently, The Swing Voter of Staten Island, the first volume in The Five Books of Moses series. He lives in New York City.