03 January 2012

Today's Imprint Read: The Street Sweeper by Elliot Perlman

What could an African American ex-con janitor have in common with a Columbia University professor? The threads of the past sometimes weave an unexpected cloth.

Memory is a willful dog. It won't be summoned or dismissed but it cannot survive without you. It can sustain you or feed on you. It visits when it is hungry, not when you are. It has a schedule all its own that you can never known. It can capture you, corner you, or liberate you. It can leave you howling and it can make you smile.
The Street Sweeper, by Elliot Perlman (Riverhead Books 2012; quote is from uncorrected proofs)

Quick Facts
  • Setting: New York City (modern day); Chicago and Poland (in the past)
  • Characters: Lamont (an ex-con), Adam (a Columbia University history professor), and Mr. Mandelbrot (a cancer patient and Holocaust survivor)
  • Themes: History, memory, survival, civil rights, guilt, self-forgiveness
  • Genre: literary fiction


bermudaonion 1/3/12, 7:40 AM  

The book sounds great! I enjoyed the video and the author's accent!

Sandy Nawrot 1/3/12, 8:07 AM  

I read his book "Seven Types of Ambiguity" and it. Was. Fabulous. A huge chunkster but so good. Based on that, I'd read anything he writes.

Beth Hoffman 1/3/12, 8:36 AM  

I really enjoyed the video and also the author's quiet mannerisms. Will be eagerly awaiting your review

Peppermint Ph.D. 1/3/12, 9:10 AM  

I enjoyed the interview as well...am adding this one to my WishList...I truly appreciate authors who give everything they have to their books...his appreciation and honor of history makes me want to read this book :)

Barbara 1/3/12, 9:10 AM  

I was only mildly curious about this book until I heard the author speak about it. Now I really want to read it. Thanks for the video.

Laurel-Rain Snow 1/3/12, 9:11 AM  

Great insights! Thanks for the excerpt...and thanks for visiting my blog.

Martha @ Hey, I want to read that 1/3/12, 9:51 AM  

I've heard nothing but good things about this book. Great excerpt, thanks for reminding me I want to read this. Happy New Year.

Alice Audrey 1/3/12, 9:55 AM  

What a philosophical teaser this week.

Maude Lynn 1/3/12, 10:37 AM  

That sounds pretty good!

Anonymous,  1/3/12, 10:49 AM  

Such a thought provoking teaser!

Thanks for stopping by Letters Inside Out!

Nise' 1/3/12, 12:16 PM  

Wow! So much truth in that teaser. Look forward to your thoughts.

Unknown 1/3/12, 1:14 PM  

The tease from the book is so powerful, so intriguing, it really grabbed me. I enjoyed the author clip too. Thank you so much for taking me to new books and authors.:)

Zibilee 1/3/12, 1:42 PM  

I love this excerpt and find it so, so true. Thanks for sharing this. I need to read this book!

Uomo di Speranza 1/3/12, 4:57 PM  

The plot of this book sounds so interesting! And the past really is a journey, the wounds and wins we receive never being fully known...

Jenners 1/3/12, 7:51 PM  

Sounds pretty intense.

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea 1/3/12, 8:44 PM  

I am really looking forward to this one. Hope you enjoy it.

Happy New Year

Vasilly 1/3/12, 9:09 PM  

Great excerpt! I'm hoping to read this book in a week or two.

Anonymous,  1/4/12, 5:30 AM  

Thanks for bringing this book to my/our attention! I've read Seven Types of Ambiguity which I enjoyed a lot although I don't know that I understood all of it - want to re-read sometime!

I'm not sure how big a part the Holocaust plays in this book. It's a topic that I'm not comfortable with. I don't totally shun it, but if I know most of a book is about it, I'm less likely to read the book.

So, I'll await reviews of this book before embarking on it myself.

Meg @ write meg! 1/4/12, 11:19 AM  

Oh, this so sounds right up my alley -- and I also love the quote you pulled. The writing reminds me a bit of Jonathan Safran Foer, my one and only literary love.

The Bookworm 1/4/12, 8:26 PM  

This does sound really good and I enjoyed the video. The author does have a great accent.
Thanks for sharing this.

Marg 1/5/12, 8:17 PM  

I have been looking at this book in the shops here for a while now. It has done very well.

Pamela 1/8/12, 1:55 AM  

wow, thanks for sharing this book...I can't wait to read it now!...it is going straight on my daily lengthening wish list! :)

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