Sunday, July 29, 2018

What is Spencer Wise reading?

Featured at Writers Read: Spencer Wise, author of The Emperor of Shoes.

His entry begins:
I’ve been on the road for over a month touring, so I’ve had to poach some time here and there to read. Mostly short stories. I adored Elizabeth McCracken’s collection Thunderstruck. It’s a few years old. What I love about it--the narrators and protagonists are all laughing about things you absolutely aren’t supposed to laugh about. The grandmother in “Hungry” mocks her granddaughter’s appetites at the same time she encourages them. The granddaughter loves “heat-lamped fried chicken and tall glasses of cubed Jell-O”and she’s already split one pair of pants and didn’t care in the slightest. It’s hilarious and wrong. None of this cheek-pinching nonsense, here’s a grandmother that...[read on]
About The Emperor of Shoes, from the publisher:
From an exciting new voice in literary fiction, a transfixing story about an expatriate in southern China and his burgeoning relationship with a seamstress intent on inspiring dramatic political change

Alex Cohen, a twenty-six-year-old Jewish Bostonian, is living in southern China, where his father runs their family-owned shoe factory. Alex reluctantly assumes the helm of the company, but as he explores the plant’s vast floors and assembly lines, he comes to a grim realization: employees are exploited, regulatory systems are corrupt and Alex’s own father is engaging in bribes to protect the bottom line.

When Alex meets a seamstress named Ivy, his sympathies begin to shift. She is an embedded organizer of a pro-democratic Chinese party, secretly sowing dissonance among her fellow laborers. Will Alex remain loyal to his father and his heritage? Or will the sparks of revolution ignite?

Deftly plotted and vibrantly drawn, The Emperor of Shoes is a timely meditation on idealism, ambition, father-son rivalry and cultural revolution, set against a vivid backdrop of social and technological change.
Visit Spencer Wise's website.

The Page 69 Test: The Emperor of Shoes.

Writers Read: Spencer Wise.

--Marshal Zeringue