March 26: Reading and Signing: The Boatmaker a novel by John Benditt



Thursday, March 26
7pm, free and open to the public
John Benditt reads from and discusses THE BOATMAKER with Jonas Kyle
John Benditt, author of The Boatmaker, a new debut novel published by Tin House Books, and a resident of the neighborhood, will read from and discuss the book with Spoonbill & Sugartown co-owner Jonas Kyle. A signing will follow.
Of the this new voice in literature, Jonas Kyle says, “I read The Boatmaker over a few nights, and while still in media res I, looked forward to driving toward the end. The novel comes across as fully formed, as if it had already been in existence for some time. At moments I toyed with the fancy that the author had plagiarized in toto an unpublished work of some Scandinavian or Baltic writer from the 19th Century.
It would be fortifying to think that the last century and the present one could resolve themselves in an environmental image as durable as a man on a remote island who has confidence, a far-flung but faithful family and a desire to build wooden boats.
While I was reading The Boatmaker I wondered what Herman Hesse reads like by comparison. As chance would have it, a paperback of Narcissus and Goldmund flaunted itself at me today as I left the store on my way via subway to a meeting in Manhattan. I snatched it for reading material and went through forty or fifty pages over the next few hours.
Although the comparison was on the fly, as it were, I did ascertain that the heroes of the Hesse book do not represent the future of the human race. Neither Narcissus nor Goldmund is capable of forming a lasting bond with a flesh-and-blood woman—Narcissus not even trying and Goldmund going from one to the next until he grows old, sick and tired. The hero of The Boatmaker, by contrast, manages to forge a relationship, for keeps it would seem, and yet also finds his freedom.”

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