Wednesday, May 25, 2011

What is Peter Mountford reading?

Today's featured contributor at Writers Read: Peter Mountford, author of A Young Man's Guide to Late Capitalism.

His entry begins:
I’m reading student stories. A lot of student stories. 180 stories, to be precise. I am a WITS writer (Writers in the Schools, which is a wonderful program that’s in many cities around the country; it puts professional writers into schools to teach and mentor students in creative writing). In Seattle, it’s arranged by Seattle Arts and Lectures. So, every semester I spend about ten days teaching a fiction-writing class to 9th graders at Shorecrest High School. Toward the end of the semester all 180 students turn in a 5-page story. Hence the phone-book-thick stack of papers that I’m working my way-through. The stories are very good this time, and I’d like to take credit for that, although I’m 99% sure it’s their teachers’ doing.

Next up, I’m reading or re-reading books about or set in Sri Lanka, because that’s where the next novel I’m writing is set. So I’m re-reading Anil’s Ghost by Michael Ondaatje and A Disobedient Girl by Ru Freeman. I have...[read on]
Among the early praise for A Young Man's Guide to Late Capitalism:
A Young Man’s Guide to Late Capitalism is, quite simply, one of the most compelling and thought-provoking novels I’ve read in years. It’s extraordinarily vivid, populated by characters whose fates I cared about desperately, beautifully written, timely beyond measure, but above all it conveys -- with impressive precision and nuance—how we are vectors on the grid of global capital; how difficult it is to even attempt to be an authentic, let alone admirable, human being when we are, first and last, cash flow.”
—David Shields, author of Reality Hunger: A Manifesto

"A Young Man’s Guide to Late Capitalism is a terrific debut novel—smart, moving, beautifully written. Peter Mountford's parable of the voracious global economy reminded me of Graham Greene's The Quiet American in its clear-eyed depiction of the realpolitik of our age."
—Jess Walters, author of The Financial Lives of the Poets

"A Young Man's Guide to Late Capitalism is a brilliant debut novel, one that is generous in giving readers an original cast of vividly-drawn and unforgettable characters, learned in its knowledge of the interwoven worlds of finance and politics, sexy, and thoroughly cosmopolitan. Peter Mountford is easily one of the most gifted and skillful young writers, already accomplished, I have had the pleasure of reading in many years."
—Charles Johnson, author of Middle Passage and Dreamer

“In his debut novel, A Young Man's Guide to Late Capitalism, Peter Mountford has something important to say about the ambiguous moral ground where the personal meets the political. He has experience and sophistication beyond his years and is well-positioned to mine this vein. This novel is worth your time and attention.”
—David Guterson, author of Snow Falling on Cedars

"Peter Mountford, in his amazing debut as a novelist, has updated the gilded myth of Wall Street swashbucklers in expensive suits and spun it out into the world in a hellbent tale, dramatizing the contorted rationalizations practiced by the financial elite to justify their self-delusion. Forget fame, respect, making the world a better place. Transcend the craving for money by acquiring a truckload of it. Buddha as a hedge fund operator, reallocating soullessness throughout the system."
—Bob Shacochis, author of Swimming in the Volcano and The Next New World

"Peter Mountford's A Young Man's Guide to Late Capitalism is a sharp, funny and terrifying novel— in a world so much like our own (part of the terror: it may, in fact, be our world), Gabriel's actions and the reactions of those around him caused me to wonder, again and again: how do I wish to live in this world, and what latitude might I find?"
—Peter Rock, author of My Abandonment
View a trailer for the novel, and learn more about the book and author at Peter Mountford's website.

The Page 69 Test: A Young Man's Guide to Late Capitalism.

Writers Read: Peter Mountford.

--Marshal Zeringue