by Jim Ridley
This summer, we'll be saying we all knew Adam Ross back when he was the Scene's much-abused, overqualified guy at the front desk. (He's certainly the only person who held the gig in the past 20 years who started his film career as a pre-teen opposite Alan Alda and Meryl Streep. And we're proud to say he graduated to become a much-abused, overqualified staff writer and section editor.) Last year the Nashville author sold his first novel, Mr. Peanut, and a collection of stories to Knopf, one of the last imprints in publishing that means anything to book lovers. The novel will be published this summer in 11 languages.
In January, Publishers Weekly picked Mr. Peanut in the magazine's annual list of its 10 promising fiction debuts of the spring. Of special note is this paragraph:
Publisher's pitch: Says editor Gary Fisketjon, "Aside from being the most ambitious and accomplished first novel in recent memory, Mr. Peanut is as intense emotionally as it is structurally: a set of interlocking dramas that explore the twinned impulses of love and hate, murder and marriage. Audacious, intriguing, and surprising, it's a police procedural of the soul, about the most important and elusive part of our lives."
In case you haven't read a book since you found your dad's stashed-away copy of The Carpetbaggers, part-time Middle Tennessean Fisketjon -- Ross' editor, and a legend in the publishing industry -- has also edited some other folks whose names you might recognize: Cormac McCarthy, Haruki Murakami, Raymond Carver, Richard Russo, Donna Tartt. Needless to say, we're hoping to crack open Mr. Peanut long before its official publication in June.
UPDATE: We understand there's a rave from Stephen King in the upcoming Entertainment Weekly. Money quote: "And it induced nightmares, at least in this reader. No mean feat."