Staff Pick Saturday:
Leaving the Atocha Station by Ben Lerner is a book that’s garnered a lot of praise since its publication in September 2011. It’s been featured on NPR’s Fresh Air, named to more than a dozen best of lists, and continues to plug along, gathering readers. We were so fond of the book that we selected it as our second ever Apple-a-Month subscription book and it now lives on our Staff Picks display.
Without further ado, here’s Stephen’s shelftalker:
Ben Lerner’s debut novel is a smart and ironic account of cultural, linguistic, and personal dislocation. Chronicling the rather unextraordinary adventures of a young American poet in Madrid (there under the false pretenses of writing a poem about the Spanish Civil War), Leaving the Atocha Station is a comedic portrait of the artist as a bundle of failures. Much more than an attempt to understand what poetry means in the early 21st century, Lerner’s novel is an attempt to figure out what it means to be human.