Monday, January 21, 2013

Six top books on love, betrayal, and creative people who behave badly

Ben Schrank published his first novel, Miracle Man, in 1999. The New Yorker selected it as one of six debut novels in that year’s fiction issue, saying “As the ethical lines blur, Schrank makes New York seem sharp and new.” Time Magazine called it a “brilliantly observed story about the desire to live in an egalitarian world.” In 2002 Schrank published his second novel, Consent. Leonard Michaels wrote of Consent: “It is a very serious story, and, in places, it is hilarious. As for the woman at the center, she is unforgettable.”

Schrank has taught at the MFA program at Brooklyn college. He was for some years the voice of "Ben’s Life," a fictional column for Seventeen magazine.

His new novel is Love Is a Canoe.

One of Schrank's six favorite books on love, betrayal, and creative people who behave badly, as told to The Week magazine:
Sabbath's Theater by Philip Roth

The affair that Mickey Sabbath, gifted puppeteer, has with an innkeeper's wife catapults him into a journey backward. The novel is a debauched sexual roller coaster that ends with Roth's best closing line — a line about turning away from death: "How could he go? Everything he hated was here."
Read about the other books on Schrank's list.

Sabbath's Theater is among Edward Docx's top ten deranged characters and Howard Jacobson's five best novels on failure.

Visit Ben Schrank's website.

Writers Read: Ben Schrank.

--Marshal Zeringue