Sunday, February 16, 2014

What is Peter Mountford reading?

Featured at Writers Read: Peter Mountford, author of The Dismal Science.

The entry begins:
I’m reading Bob Shacochis’s The Woman Who Lost Her Soul, and it’s just remarkably baroque and capacious. And I’m reading Claire Messud’s glorious The Woman Upstairs, which is quivering with powerful emotion. Both books’ titles start with the phrase “The Woman,” I notice, which I could see an overenthusiastic psychotherapist trying to trampoline into a thing. Last year, I was showered in so much student writing for a year or so, that I read nothing else, and I started to feel very creatively emaciated, in a way. Not that my students aren’t all geniuses, of course they are all geniuses. But, yeah, it’s nice to get lost in these two books. Messud’s voice is so...[read on]
About The Dismal Science, from the publisher:
The Dismal Science tells of a middle-aged vice president at the World Bank, Vincenzo D’Orsi, who publicly quits his job over a seemingly minor argument with a colleague. A scandal inevitably ensues, and he systematically burns every bridge to his former life. After abandoning his career, Vincenzo, a recent widower, is at a complete loss as to what to do with himself. The story follows his efforts to rebuild his identity without a vocation or the company of his wife.

An exploration of the fragile nature of identity, The Dismal Science reveals the terrifying speed with which a person’s sense of self can be annihilated. It is at once a study of a man attempting to apply his reason to the muddle of life and a book about how that same ostensible rationality, and the mathematics of finance in particular, operates—with similarly dubious results—in our world.
Learn more about the book and author at Peter Mountford's website.

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My Book, The Movie: A Young Man's Guide to Late Capitalism.

Writers Read: Peter Mountford.

--Marshal Zeringue