Big Three

Novelist Thomas Pynchon is more than a writer. He’s a weird institution and full-time obsession for some. But what did he expect? He has made sport of hiding from the world since the mid-1960s. Of course people want to know more. Then there’s Douglas Adams of Hitchhiker’s Guide fame. He wasn’t a recluse but rather a moving target, so much so that one of his book jackets even states, “He is currently not certain where he lives, or with whom.” David Foster Wallace, on the other hand, was accessible — he taught undergraduate classes, granted interviews, gave commencement speeches — but he (like Adams) died way too young. What if you had a chance to see all three of these writers together when they were still the next big thing? Tonight you might see an equivalent in the New Literary Vanguard. Litquake says these novelists — Jesse Ball, Charles Yu, and Adam Levin — are the heirs to Pynchon, Adams, and Wallace. And if we’d trust anyone to know that, it’s Litquake. We also trust The New York Times, which says that, like Pynchon, Ball is known for creating worlds that are very close to reality, with one exception: “Your most paranoid fears are likely to be true.” The Times says Yu has a gift for humor — and also for concocting outlandish inventions, much as Adams did. Another trusted book source, Salon.com, asks simply, “Is Adam Levin the new David Foster Wallace?” Tonight, Kevin Hunsanger of Green Apple Books engages the three authors in conversation, after which each one will read and answer audience questions. So when these three are more popular than Jesus or more reclusive than J.D. Salinger, you can say, “Yeah, one night in San Francisco I spoke with all of them.”
Sun., July 10, 7 p.m., 2011

 
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