Saturday, September 23 at 4:00 pm

Speaker Series: Brendan Mathews, Author of The World of Tomorrow

We are pleased to welcome author Brendan Mathews for a book reading and signing for his debut novel, The World of Tomorrow, on Saturday, September 23, 2017 at 4:00 p.m.  In a starred review, Publishers Weekly called the book “a remarkably fast and exhilarating read, reminiscent of Michael Chabon’s The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay.  This one grabs the reader from the beginning to its suspenseful climax….A masterful debut novel.”

June 1939.  Francis Dempsey and his shell-shocked brother, Michael, are on an ocean liner from Ireland headed for their brother Martin’s home in New York City, having stolen a small fortune from the IRA.  During the week that follows, their lives collide spectacularly with big-band jazz musicians, a talented but fragile heiress, a Jewish street photographer facing a return to Nazi-occupied Prague, a vengeful mobster, and the ghosts of their own family’s revolutionary past.

But when Tom Cronin, a one-time assassin forced into one last job, tracks the brothers down, their lives begin to fracture: Francis must capitulate to blackmail, or have his family suffer fatal consequences.  Michael, wandering alone, turns to the heartsick artist Lilly Bloch to recover his lost memory.  And Francis and his wife Rosemary try to salvage a marriage, a wedding, and ultimately the lives of the other Dempseys.

From the smoky jazz joints of Harlem to the Plaza Hotel, from the garrets of artists in the Bowery to the shadowy warehouses of mobsters in Hell’s Kitchen, Brendan Mathews brings prewar New York to vivid, pulsing life, while the sweeping and intricate storytelling of this remarkable debut reveals an America that blithely hoped it could avoid another catastrophic war by focusing instead on the promise of the World’s Fair: a peaceful, prosperous “World of Tomorrow.”

Photo by Tricia McCormack

About the author: Brendan Mathews is the author of The World of Tomorrow, coming in September 2017 from Little, Brown & Co.  A Fulbright Scholar to Ireland, his fiction has twice appeared in The Best American Short Stories and in Glimmer Train, Virginia Quarterly Review, Salon, Cincinnati Review, and other publications in the US and UK.  He has been the recipient of grants and fellowships from the Massachusetts Cultural Council,  Sustainable Arts Foundation, Sewanee Writers Conference, and the University of Virginia, where he received his MFA.  He lives with his wife and their four children in Lenox, Massachusetts, and teaches at Bard College at Simon’s Rock.



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