by Jim Ridley
When: 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 25
Where: Parnassus Books
At a recent Parnassus Books unveiling of hotly awaited summer books, addressing figures from the local literary and arts community, publishers’ reps shared their picks for the season’s most talked-about titles. One that kept coming up in conversation was The Son, the new novel by Philipp Meyer, whose 2009 debut American Rust drew comparisons as broad as Hemingway, Salinger and Cormac McCarthy (wouldn’t you like to see those three walk into a bar) with its depiction of two once-promising steel-town kids altered by a violent encounter.
Vast in scope, ambitious in structure, The Son alternates the voices of three members of a Texas family across two centuries, extending from American Indian conquest to the Iraq War. Aside from glowing advance notices from Richard Ford, Karen Russell and Kate Atkinson, it led a Wall Street Journal headline to ask, “Is Philipp Meyer the Next William Faulkner?” You should probably choose a different icebreaker if you meet the author tonight at his Parnassus reading and signing.
Watch the WSJ's video report on Meyer after the jump.