Saturday, February 23, 2008

...and here's how it's wrapped

So, down below there I showed an early comp of the cover of In Hoboken. And now we have the real thing...look to your right (assuming this is still the top post). Many, many thanks to Neal Pollack for the nice blurb (one of these days I have to write an essay or something about the fine arts of giving and receiving blurb...but that's another story). Neal and I have actually only met in person once (a beer-drenched evening in Philadelphia many years ago, an evening of readings at the old 215 Festival...The Ice Beneath You had just come out, so I was reading stuff from that, and Neal was touring with a full band, and they absolutely rocked; that was a lot of fun). We knew each other from a small and far-flung tribe back in I guess 2003 trying through email and blogging to keep each other sane as Cheney marched us head-on into this war. Atrios was publishing some of what we were writing. And this was I think the same way I met Joel.

But boy do I digress. So to your right is the cover, and down below is the back-cover copy, as it will appear on the printed book (for those of you concerned about the "seedy" controversy of my previous post):

As in Roddy Doyle’s The Commitments and Nick Hornby’s High Fidelity, IN HOBOKEN is about the music that makes it all worthwhile when you’re young and struggling—but in this New Jersey waterfront town, there is as much soul in the place and the people.

In the mile-square city of Hoboken, a twenty-four-year-old Woody Guthrie-obsessed guitar player named Thatcher Smith has come home from the army to a clerk’s job and a circle of unlikely friends trying to form a band. Critically acclaimed novelist Christian Bauman—himself a former soldier and itinerant guitar player—has returned with his finest writing yet, drenched in time and place and the vivid colors of its characters: Marsh, the polio-crippled rock & roll king of Hoboken; the bachelor painter Quatrone and his ancient Italian mother; Thatcher’s “brother” the virtuoso James and their “sister” the folk chanteuse Lou; the half-blind, half-mad Orris. Drunk in a sea of failed relationships, distant celebrity parents, and the certainty he was born fifty years too late, Thatcher navigates a year of life and death in Hoboken, New Jersey, the Bohemian city alive and kicking in the shadows of New York.

Christian Bauman’s first two novels The Ice Beneath You and Voodoo Lounge were based on his experiences as a young soldier in the combat zones of Somalia and Haiti, and on his wanderings around North America. Bauman is now a regular contributor to NPR’s All Things Considered and an editor-at-large for He lives in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, with his wife and daughters.

Publishing is a funny thing, for many reasons, one of which is that these books are usually finished long before they hit the shelves of your local bookstore. In this case, In Hoboken was done last year, and I'm knee-deep in not just one but two new books (a novel called The Dog House, and a young adult novel called The Night Door). So it's kind of like by the time a book comes out, you've already moved on, you know? But it's fun, especially I think in this case, to come back to it, and see it come to life for everyone else. I'm very, very happy to see this one in the flesh, and really looking forward to it's publication next month.