Wednesday, June 25, 2008

New Interview: Ed Park, Personal Days

This is for And, by the way, Ed was a great interview -- he said lots and lots of nifty things and I could have fill a newshole twice the size of what I got with everything he said. The best part is as a novel, Personal Days is actually a great deal of fun as well as mind-probing and intellectually (as well as emotionally) rigorous. It also has a very amusing cover.

Here's a tease:

So you’re on a bus or the subway right now, heading toward your tiny cubicle in an office where the future is anything but certain. Take heart: you’re just like many of the characters depicted in Ed Park’s new comic—and sardonic—novel "Personal Days." Formerly editor of the literary supplement at the Village Voice, "Personal Days" is largely inspired by Park’s experiences at the alt-weekly, which was purchased by a national chain a few years back and thoroughly reorganized, resulting in Park and many other writers and editors being laid off.

The reviews of "Personal Days" emphasize its humor, but it’s also very dark.

I’d agree with that. I did want it to be a comic novel in a sense. But that’s really limited to the first part; in the second and third, things start getting quite dark. And while I like that kind of writing—P.G. Wodehouse is one of my favorite writers—purely funny books are hard to do, and this is a pretty serious book in many ways as well. The question is whether one can write a purely comic novel about something as dehumanizing as mass corporate layoffs. There’s a lingering unease and something slightly gossipy and sour about it.

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