Public Books, Warby Parker, a Man in Manila, and the Brandeis Hoot

A few new reactions to Necessary Errors:

In a long review at Public Books, Ryder Kessler writes that the novel “captures the hesitance of two systems, or two selves, touching along a fragile filament.”

If you want to live abroad and are trying to figure out which book to read about the topic, the glasses-maker Warby Parker has a flow chart, and Necessary Errors is one of the possible termini.

Migs Bassig has a few kind words about the novel at his blog A Man in Manila.

Dana Trismen, editor of the Brandeis Hoot, interviewed me in advance of a reading I gave on campus Wednesday, and Andrew Elmers reported on the reading for the same paper. I had a great time both there and at Harvard this week! Thanks to all involved.

Readings at Brandeis & Harvard in early April

On Wednesday, April 2, at 5pm, I’m going to be reading from Necessary Errors at Brandeis. The reading will take place in the Shapiro Admissions Presentation Room, and is co-sponsored by the Department of English and the History of Ideas Program.

The next day, Thursday, April 3, at 4:15pm, I’ll give a reading on the Harvard campus. It will take place at the CGIS South Building, 1730 Cambridge Street, Room S354, and it’s co-sponsored by the Davis Center for Russian & Eurasian Studies and the Department of Slavic Languages & Literatures.

If you’re in the Boston or Cambridge area, please come to one or both!

I became aware of two more reviews of the book this past week. On 2 March 2014, Michiel Heyns reviewed it for South Africa’s Sunday Independent (access by subscription only). Heyns called the novel “an exhilarating read, for its fineness of observation and its generosity of characterization.” And, though I only became aware of it months after the fact, Rebecca Panovka reviewed the novel for the Harvard Book Review on 10 December 2013, writing that it was “a perfect evocation of a certain type of aimless ambition.”

Finalist for a Lambda Literary Award

I’m happy to announce that my novel Necessary Errors is a finalist in gay general fiction for the 2014 Lambda Literary Awards. I appreciate the honor.

Bookish; Eiger, Mönch & Jungfrau; and an Italian translation

At the website Bookish, the novelist Charles Finch has listed Necessary Errors in a round-up of “Great Expatriate Stories.”

On the brand-new literary blog Eiger, Mönch & Jungfrau, there’s an in-depth review of the novel that calls it “delicate and slippery.”

I’m also happy to announce that 66th and 2nd will be publishing an Italian translation of the novel, currently scheduled for 2015.

“One of the best American novels of the last decade”

Geoff Mak has written a very generous and thoughtful review of Necessary Errors for the Los Angeles Review of Books, comparing the novel to Rachel Kushner’s The Flamethrowers and trying to place it in recent literary history and make sense of its reception. Also, he exposes a literary forgery of mine.

Buzzfeed & FSG

With an apt quote from F. Scott Fitzgerald (“I don’t want to repeat my innocence. I want the pleasure of losing it again”), Buzzfeed has put Necessary Errors on its list of “17 Books We Loved in 2013.” Meanwhile, and rather sportingly given that it’s published by a rival, the editors at Farrar Straus Giroux have listed the novel as one of the best books of the year.

UPDATE, Dec. 20: Edward Nawotka of Publishing Perspectives has listed the book as a “sleeper favorite.”

Enlisted and delisted

Necessary Errors is one of ten books on the Wall Street Journal‘s “Best Fiction of 2013″ list. At the blog I’ve Been Reading Lately, Levi Stahl puts it among his favorite fiction of the year. Literary agent William Callahan has also cited it, writing that he “was most moved by the depiction of what dating was like when people relied on landlines. Eek!”

A rather more qualified appreciation of the novel came from The Affenlights and Their Boyfriends, a Chad Harbach fanblog, whose author wrote that “I enjoyed it a lot, right up till the point I wanted to punch the protagonist in the face.”

UPDATE, Dec. 17: Necessary Errors is also on the personal best-of-2013 list of Anthony Domestico, books columnist for the magazine Commonweal, who calls it “the most intelligent and lyrical novel of the year.” My thanks to all!

Listing

The Millions asked me to give some highlights from my “Year in Reading.”

And in other news, I am on the long list of contestants being considered by the Morning News for a literary cage-fighting battle royale.

Adrian de Vries’s “The Wrestlers”

Adrian de Vries's 'Wrestlers,' photo credit Caleb Crain

A photograph from 1990 or 1991 of Adrian de Vries’s sculpture Zápasníci (“The Wrestlers”), in the Wallenstein Gardens, Prague.

If this image were included in an extra-illustrated binding of the novel Necessary Errors, it might follow page 395. (For an explanation of extra-illustration, click here.)

PS: This is the last of the extra illustrations!

Listed

Happy to report that Necessary Errors has shown up on a few year-end round-ups. At Flavorwire, Jason Diamond has named it one of the ten best debut novels of the year. David Haglund at Slate has picked it as his favorite book of 2013. The Kansas City Star included it in a list of the top 100 books of the year. At the blog Band of Thebes, Michael Alenyikov and Stephen McCauley both cited it as one of the best LGBT books they read this year. Maris Kreizman of Slaughterhouse 90210 called it the “MOST IMMERSIVE” of her favorites. And at Policy Mic, Gracie Jin has listed it among the twenty best books for various kinds of twenty-something-year-olds. My thanks to all of these people!