Stephen Amidon was born in Chicago and grew up on the East Coast. He lived in London for 12 years before returning to the United States in 1999. He now lives in Massachusetts and Torino, Italy. His books have been published in 16 countries and include two works of nonfiction, a collection of stories and seven novels, including Human Capital, adapted as a film directed by Marc Meyers in 2019, and Security, also adapted as a film and released by Netflix in summer 2021. His ninth novel is Locust Lane (Celadon, January 17, 2023), about the search for justice and the fault lines of power and influence in a seemingly idyllic town.
Handsell readers your book in 25 words or less:
A murder in suburbia sets three families on a collision course as they scramble to protect their treasured children from the consequences of the crime.
On your nightstand now:
Down and Out in Paradise: The Life of Anthony Bourdain by Charles Leerhsen. I was always deeply impressed by the broadcasting and writing of Bourdain, who possessed such a humane, wise and unpretentious presence. I'm curious to see how such a seemingly ideal life could have gone so terribly wrong at the end.
Razorblade Tears by S.A. Cosby. I read Blacktop Wasteland last year and was immediately sold on Cosby's brand of hard-bitten Southern noir. More, please.
The Night Shift by Alex Finlay. I'm about halfway through this and think it's terrific. It's only Finlay's second novel, but he writes with immense authority and skill.
Olga Dies Dreaming by Xochitl Gonzalez. I've heard nothing but good things about Olga and plan to see what all the fuss is about.
Read more here.
61 years ago today, one of my all time favorite books won the National Book Award. The Moviegoer by Walker Percy faced stiff competition, including from another book that makes my top ten list: Richard Yates’ Revolutionary Road.
More recently, I wrote an appreciation of Percy's novel for The New Statesman.
As I said at the time:
"Some novels simply do not go away. They lodge in your consciousness, expanding rather than disappearing after the last page is turned. Although there are countless other books waiting to be read, you find yourself returning to this one, hungry and perplexed, and even a bit uneasy about its effect on you. Its mysteries deepen with each reading. Your curiosity about it is never quenched. You cannot dispense with it.
The Moviegoer has proved to be just such a book for me, as it has for countless others."
My words helped get the novel back into print in the UK—although it is shocking that it was out of print in the first place.
As it happens, tomorrow I am off to the Turin Film Festival for ten days of movie-going of my own. I think I know what I will read on the plane.
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