Roy Scranton - "I Heart Oklahoma!"

Thursday, March 19, 2020 - 6:00pm - 7:00pm
Event Presenter/Author: 
Roy Scranton

“Part existential farce, part metatextual dystopian road trip romp, I Heart Oklahoma! is ambitious, omnivorous, inventive, and imbued with a dark and hilarious sense of whimsy. If your personal journey through the American wasteland has begun to feel like a slog, this book will remind you that there's a certain thrill in watching the show unfold from the first-row seats, the ones in the splash zone."Alexandra Kleeman, author of You Too Can Have A Body Like Mine

Roy Scranton discusses I Heart Oklahoma! A Q&A and signing will follow the discussion.

At 57th Street Books

RSVP HERE (Please note that your RSVP is requested but not required.)

About the book: One of America’s most daring novelists and cultural critics returns with his highly anticipated latest novel, a searing, no holds barred, and incisive deep-dive into the heart of the present-day United States.

There is no more apt follow-up to his groundbreaking and extremely personal novel on the U.S. military (War Porn) and critically acclaimed essay collection on climate change, war, and literature (We’re Doomed. Now What?) than Roy Scranton’s I Heart Oklahoma!, a provocative, genderqueer, shape-shifting musical romp through the brain-eating nightmare of contemporary America. This road novel for the modern era begins in New York City when Jim, a corporate suit-turned-video-artist, enlists a jaded writer, Suzie, and a hipster videographer, Remy, to help him make the ultimate video project about Donald Trump’s America. They set out across the country, each looking for something they lost—a purpose, a message, a sense of the future—only to lose themselves in America “out there,” among fragments of broken ideologies and, in Suzie’s case, equally perilous memories of growing up in the American heartland.

Moving from our bleeding-edge present to a furious Faulknerian retelling of the Charlie Starkweather killings in the 1950s, I Heart Oklahoma! is as much a study of the art novel—and of art itself—as it is about guns, pop culture, and American landscapes. All is shot through with U.S. history with the screaming force of a bullet—or perhaps with the persistent momentum of the 1971 Plymouth Valiant Scamp that carries Jim, Suzie, and Remy into Trump country. In its mesmerizing form, I Heart Oklahoma! captures the violence and beauty at the heart of the American dream in blistering, prosaic suspension. This is Roy Scranton at his narrative best: animated with hard-earned philosophy, peerlessly sharp, and risk-taking like no other.

About the author: Roy Scranton has been a dishwasher, truck driver, phone psychic, caregiver, door-to-door canvasser, telemarketer, soldier, short-order cook, fry cook, and journalist. He is the author of Learning to Die in the Anthropocene, the novel War Porn, and the essay collection We’re Doomed. Now What? He has been awarded a Whiting Fellowship and a Lannan Literary Fellowship, among other honors, and holds a PhD in English from Princeton. He lives in Indiana, where he teaches at the University of Notre Dame.

 

Event Location: 
57th Street Books
1301 E. 57th St.
Chicago, IL 60637