Clay Byars is the author of Will & I, out today from FSG Originals. Here he talks with Drew Broussard about twinship as collaboration, his reluctance to sugarcoat, and what it’s like to be irrevocably changed by an event.
In 2001, Jace Clayton was an unknown DJ who recorded a three-turntable, sixty-minute mix called Gold Teeth Thief and put it online to share with his friends. Within weeks, the mix had become an international calling card and the globe-trotting DJ Rupture was born, as Clayton was whisked away to a sprawling, multi-tiered nightclub in Zagreb, a tiny gallery in Osaka, a former brother in São Paulo, and the MoMA.
Clayton was always doing more than just jet-setting—he was traveling to the furthest corners of the world with his eyes and ears open, taking in as much as he could from his new position on the frontlines of a music world making its transition from analog to digital. To his ears, it was a glorious time: Berber musicians embracing auto-tune more completely than Cher ever had, Mexican rodeo teens pushing basic music production software in previously unheard(-of) directions.
In his dazzling debut book, Uproot, Clayton shares all he’s learned, illuminating connections no one else could have ever revealed. Coming up with a book cover that captures all that energy was obviously a daunting prospect. We think designer Devin Washburn nailed it—but what’s perhaps even more revealing is how interesting the back cover is. It is, for instance, the first time we’ve gotten a blurb from Diplo—and it may well be the first time Diplo has shared a stage with Obama-inauguration poet Elizabeth Alexander, legendary performance artist Laurie Anderson, and more…
The first book of The Tale of Shikanoko arrives on US shores today, and Emperor of the Eight Islands comes on waves of praise. During its Australian publication a few weeks ago, it was hailed in the mainstream press—The Sydney Morning Herald wrote, “It is easy to let the book sweep the reader away, to engage with strange events, but very compelling characters…there is huge imaginative vitality.”—and the, um, geek media, too—here’s The Geek of Oz: “Emperor of the Eight Islands is masterstroke for Lian Hearn…you’ll want the next book in front of you right now.”
For the record, we’re doing our very best to get the next book in front of you right now. The first book comes out today; the second, Autumn Princess, Dragon Child, will be out the first week of June; and the whole series—all four books—will be available by the end of September. (Yes, in true FSG Originals fashion, it’s not just the books themselves that are an adventure, it’s the publications, too.)
In the meantime, we have more waves or praise to share with you.
There’s always something surprising about the way the world receives a book once we’ve published it—booksellers speak up, newspapers publish reviews, NPR has its say, websites weigh in, and there always little surprises embedded in there, for good and ill—but at least for us, it’s rarely the local TV news giving their perspective. Here on LA’s CBS Channel 2 News, the first surprise is the piece’s unlikely title, but that is quickly outdone by Paul Magers’ shirt and tie combo…hot damn! But give the video a few seconds, both Geoff Manaugh and A Burglar’s Guide to the City get some good face-time—and deliver some good tips, too!
In what reads like a missing chapter from his just-published A Burglar’s Guide to the City, Geoff Manaugh details the (maybe-true) story of a convicted bank robber hired to steal al Qaeda’s liquid assets. The article, published just last week in The Daily Beast, was optioned by Studio 8.
The following essay is included in John Freeman’s How to Read a Novelist and reproduced here, in its entirety, in honor of the late Imre Kertész, who died at his home in Budapest on March 31, 2016.
Two pieces of very exciting news for FSG Originals authors: Catherine Lacey wins a Whiting Award and Amelia Gray is a finalist for the New York Public Library’s Young Lions Award!
“THE BEST YOUNG WRITER IN AMERICA”’s debut novel, Find Me, came out this week in paperback. Kevin Nguyen talks with Laura van den Berg about Fallout 4, speculative fiction, and character attachment.