Join Thomas Kennedy, René Steinke, Jeffery Renard Allen, H.L. Hix, and David Grand for an evening celebrating the release of Beneath the Neon Egg.
About Beneath the Neon Egg:
Beneath the Neon Egg is a novel of jazz, violence, sex, death, love, and the underbelly of life, set in the low light of a Copenhagen winter. It is the story of Patrick Bluett, a forty-three-year-old Irish-American in Denmark, divorced and navigating his relationship with his college-age children, searching for life in a new country. It is also the story of his neighbor, a man in a similar circumstance who becomes his friend—and becomes entangled with a Russian prostitute.
The novel borrows its four-part structure from John Coltrane’s majestic jazz symphony A Love Supreme, which Patrick Bluett listens to as he gazes out the window at the frozen streets of his adopted city, unaware of events in the apartment across the hall, and unaware of the consequences his friend will meet—or will, perhaps, escape.
Thomas E. Kennedy’s many books include novels, story and essay collections, literary criticism, translations, and anthologies. He teaches in the M.F.A. program at Fairleigh Dickinson University. Beneath the Neon Egg is the final book in his Copenhagen Quartet, following In the Company of Angels, Falling Sideways, and Kerrigan in Copenhagen. Born and raised in New York, he lives in Copenhagen with his two children.
René Steinke is the author of the novels The Fires and Holy Skirts, which was a finalist for the 2005 National Book Award. She is the Director of the MFA program in creative writing at Fairleigh Dickinson University. She lives in Brooklyn.
H. L. Hix, author of twenty-six books, teaches at the University of Wyoming.
Jeffery Renard Allen is the author of the novel Rails Under My Back, the story collection Holding Pattern, and two collections of poetry. Raised in Chicago and now living in New York, he teaches at Queens College and in the writing program at the New School.
David Grand is the author of Louse and The Disappearing Body. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife and twin sons.
What about grad school? Is it possible that being a paralegal is better training for a writer than an M.F.A. program?
Anything, I’m sure, is possible. I’ve actually known many writers who were paralegals. Probably it is simply because working as a paralegal pays Manhattan rents just a tiny bit better than entry-level publishing jobs—although maybe it doesn’t pay them at all anymore. This was in the 1970s. I’m not sure I believe in “training” to be a writer that is external like that anyway. I don’t think writers “train” the way athletes do. It is not performative and helped by little exercises; one’s mind is probably not beneficially roughened or honed by deadening work.