Booksmith hosts Elvia Wilk for her debut novel, Oval, out soon from Soft Skull. She'll be joined by the poet Brandon Brown! Please join us.
In the near future, Berlin’s real estate is being flipped in the name of “sustainability,” only to make the city even more unaffordable; artists are employed by corporations as consultants, and the weather is acting strange. When Anja and Louis are offered a rent-free home on an artificial mountain—yet another eco-friendly initiative run by a corporation—they seize the opportunity, but it isn’t long before the experimental house begins malfunctioning.
After Louis’s mother dies, Anja is convinced he has changed. At work, Louis has become obsessed with a secret project: a pill called Oval that temporarily rewires the user’s brain to be more generous. While Anja is horrified, Louis believes he has found the solution to Berlin’s income inequality. Oval is a fascinating portrait of the unbalanced relationships that shape our world, as well as a prescient warning of what the future may hold.
“Elvia Wilk’s Oval is a marvel. At the core of this seductive, acute, superbly-contemporary update of mid-period J.G. Ballard lies a deep-beating, deep-dreaming heart.” – Jonathan Lethem
“A fascinating near-future exploration of relationships, sustainability, and power. An extraordinarily accomplished debut novel.” – Jeff VanderMeer, author of Borne and Annihilation
Elvia Wilk is a writer and editor living in New York and Berlin. She writes about art, architecture, and technology for several publications, including frieze, Artforum, e-flux, Metropolis, Mousse, Flash Art, Art in America, and Zeit Online. Author photo by Nina Subin.
Brandon Brown's most recent books are The Four Seasons (Wonder) and The Good Life (Big Lucks). He is a regular contributor to Art In America, and was the inaugural winner of the Toni Beauchamp Critical Art Writing Prize in 2018. He lives in El Cerrito, California.
This is an all ages event with mature themes.
As with all of our events, seating may be limited; you can guarantee a seat by pre-purchasing the book below -- when checking out, just be sure to include a note that you'd like to attend the event. If you cannot attend the event but would like to request a signed copy of Oval, order below and put your request in the comments field.
RSVP is appreciated, but not required.