In his second novel, the acclaimed author of The Sabotage Café leads us on a long, strange trip through the heart of the sixties and beyond, as seen through the eyes of the revolution’s poster child.
Fred is the sole offspring of Lenny Snyder, the famous (or notorious) pied piper of the counterculture, and in middle age he hates being reminded of it. But neither can he ignore any longer his psychedelically bizarre childhood. From infancy, for instance, he was called Freedom (in fact his given name) not only by those who should have known him but also by members of the burgeoning movement led by his father, who happily exploited having his wife and his toddling, then walking and talking, and finally observant son in tow. Thanks to Fred, this charismatic, brilliant, volatile ringmaster is as captivating in these pages as he was to his devoted disciples back then. We watch Lenny organize hippies and intellectuals, stage magnificent stunts, and gradually lose his magnetic confidence and leading role as the sixties start slipping away. He demands loyalty but gives none back in return, a man who preaches love but treats his family with almost reflexive cruelty. And Fred remembers all of it–the chaos, the spite, the affection. A kaleidoscopic saga, this novel is at once a profound allegory for America–where we’ve been and where we’re going–and a deeply intimate portrait of a father and son who define our times.
Joshua Furst is the author of the novels Revolutionaries and The Sabotage Café, which was named to the 2007 year-end best-of lists of the Chicago Tribune, the Rocky Mountain News and the Philadelphia City Paper, as well as being awarded the 2008 Grub Street Fiction Prize. His critically acclaimed book of stories, Short People, was published in 2003. His work has appeared in, among other periodicals, Esquire, Salon, The Chicago Tribune, BOMB, and The Forward, where he is a Contributing Editor.
From 1993 through 1998, he was an active participant in the New York alternative theatre scene. Among other accomplishments in this field, he helped organize and run Nada Theatre’s 1995 Obie award winning Faust Festival and was one of the producers of the 1998 New York RAT conference which brought experimental theatre artists from across the United States together for a week of performance and symposia. His plays include Whimper, Myn and The Ellipse and Other Shapes. They have been produced by numerous theatres, both in the United States and abroad, including PS122, Adobe Theatre Company, Cucaracha Theatre Company, HERE, The Demarco European Art Foundation, and Annex Theatre in Seattle.
He studied as an undergraduate at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, receiving a BFA in Dramatic Writing in 1993 and did graduate work at The University of Iowa Writers' Workshop, from which he received an MFA with Honors in 2001.
Joshua Furst lives in New York City, and teaches at Columbia University.