Author(s): Ben Lerner
"Ben Lerner is a brilliant novelist, and one unafraid to make of the novel something truly new. 10:04 is a work of endless wit, pleasure, relevance, and vitality." --Rachel Kushner, author of The Flamethrowers
Leaving the Atocha Station was hailed as "one of the truest (and funniest) novels...of his generation" (Lorin Stein, New York Review of Books), "a work so luminously original in style and form as to seem like a premonition, a comet from the future" (Geoff Dyer, The Observer). Now Lerner's second novel departs from Atocha's exquisite ironies in order to explore new territories of thought and feeling.
In the last year, the narrator of 10:04 has enjoyed unexpected literary success, has been diagnosed with a potentially fatal heart condition, and has been asked by his best friend to help her conceive a child, despite his dating a rising star in the visual arts. In a New York of increasingly frequent super storms and political unrest, he must reckon with his biological mortality, the possibility of a literary afterlife, and the prospect of (unconventional) fatherhood in a city that might soon be under water.
In prose that Jonathan Franzen has called "hilarious...cracklingly intelligent...and original in every sentence," Lerner captures what it's like to be alive now, when the difficulty of imagining a future has changed our relation to both our present and our past. Exploring sex, friendship, medicine, memory, art, and politics, 10:04 is both a riveting work of fiction and a brilliant examination of the role fiction plays in our lives.
Shortlisted for the Folio Prize and internationally celebrated by critics and readers alike, here is a dazzling and utterly original novel about making art, love, and children during the twilight of an empire
Shortlisted for Folio Prize 2015.
Born in Kansas in 1979, BEN LERNER is the author of three books of poetry, The Lichtenberg Figures, Angle of Yaw, and Mean Free Path. He has been a finalist for the National Book Award, a Fulbright Scholar in Spain, and the recipient of a Howard Foundation Fellowship. In 2011 he became the first American to win the Munster State Prize for International Poetry. He teaches in the writing program at Brooklyn College. His first novel was Leaving the Atocha Station.