Author alert


Marisha Pessl will be in Ashvegas Friday and Saturday, at Barnes and Noble and Malaprop’s, to pimp her new book that’s getting some good buzz. The book is titled “Special Topics in Calamity Phsyics.”

Marisha is hot. As in, she’s getting great reviews from the New York Times and Publisher’s Weekly. Marisha, 27, is also hawt. As in, she’s a babe. Which is why we’ll probably go see her Saturday night.

Ashvegas has the book, but has not yet read it. We’re not sure if we will, to be honest.Here’s what Publisher’s Weekly says about it:

Pessl’s stunning debut is an elaborate construction modeled after the syllabus of a college literature course—36 chapters are named after everything from Othello to Paradise Lost to The Big Sleep—that culminates with a final exam. It comes as no surprise, then, that teen narrator Blue Van Meer, the daughter of an itinerant academic, has an impressive vocabulary and a knack for esoteric citation that makes Salinger’s Seymour Glass look like a dunce. Following the mysterious death of her butterfly-obsessed mother, Blue and her father, Gareth, embark, in another nod to Nabokov, on a tour of picturesque college towns, never staying anyplace longer than a semester.

A story in the Raleigh newspaper this week offers a nice Q&A with Marisha. Ashvegas apparently infuses Marisha’s novel, which is pretty cool. Here’s a sample:

Q – How long did you live in North Carolina?

A – Since I was 3 years old through high school. My mother and grandmother still live in the area; I’m looking forward to going there. I spent my childhood browsing the books at Malaprops [in Asheville]. It’s amazing that I’ll be reading there now. Asheville resonates through the book in different ways.

Q – Are St. Gallway School and Stockton, N.C., based on real places?

A – I willfully made up everything in my novel. Things from your life reverberate. I definitely had both of my Asheville high school experiences [she attended public and private schools there] in my head and used that as a basis for coming up with something new. I love the mental challenge of conjuring up a new world, new characters.

Finally, here’s an excerpt from the New York Times review. It starts out pretty rough on the book, but then ends with this:

Everything about “Special Topics in Calamity Physics” is comparably coy, convoluted, brightly self-conscious and (to use a word blessedly remote from Blue’s jubilant vocabulary) postmodern. Even the physics equation on the book’s back cover has outsized verve. And what begins as a dubious proposition, in a world wholly without need for additions to its Prep School Confidential bibliography, becomes a whirling, glittering, multifaceted marvel, delivered in an irrepressibly smart and flamboyant new voice. No reference points need be invoked. It speaks for itself.


Here’s a link to the book on Amazon


Edgy Mama August 10, 2006 - 3:59 pm

Yes sir!

Ash August 10, 2006 - 3:54 pm

ouch, EM. if you go Friday, get me a pic. i want to see what she really looks like.

Edgy Mama August 10, 2006 - 3:49 pm

I have heard about her and this book! Sounds right up my alley.

In the photo I saw she looks quite different from this shot, although still quite cute.

I’ll be in Atlanta Saturday, but I’ll try for the B&N signing on Friday.

Given that you never finished reading my book, Ash, I have some doubts that you’d get through Marisha’s!

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