LAUREN GRODSTEIN talks with ADAM MANSBACH / The Explanation for Everything

Monday, October 21, 2013 - 7:30pm



It takes an exceptionally sly writer to lure you into a story so engrossing that you're not aware that your own foundations are being slowly but surely dissolved. Lauren Grodstein did it in A Friend of the Family, and now in her newest, she challenges what we take for granted -- our basic belief systems.

In her absorbing novel The Explanation for Everything, Grodstein explores the contentious debate over the origins of life, but with such delicacy, compelling characters, and respect for both sides that no matter what you believe, this book will awaken your sense of wonder.

At Exton Reed College in New Jersey, biologist Andy Waite is near­ing the moment when his life might calm down a bit: tenure is in sight, he’s settled into a rhythm with his two daughters, and he’s beginning to heal from the loss of his wife. Andy’s life almost makes sense again, but then a young student asks him to direct her independent study in intelligent design. She is the catalyst for the collapsing house of cards surrounding Andy as he gradually loses sight of his personal and profes­sional boundaries, as well as his moral grounding. Suddenly, there is the possibility of faith, but with it comes responsibility and guilt -- the very things that Andy has sidestepped for years.

As in her previous novel, Grodstein delivers a provocative and insightful novel sure to incite passionate discussion. The Explanation for Everything is a quest for the answers we all crave, and a testament to the salvation that love can offer



Lauren Grodstein is the author of the best­selling novel A Friend of the Family, which was a Washington Post Best Book of the Year, a New York Times Editor’s Pick, and an Indie Next selec­tion; the collection The Best of Animals; and the novel Reproduction Is the Flaw of Love. She teaches creative writing at Rutgers University.






Talking with Lauren this evening -- about their books, careers, and the writing life -- is Adam Mansbach. His Go the Fuck to Sleep is one of the most talked-about books of the decade. it has been published in forty languages, and is forthcoming as a feature film from Fox 2000. His other previous books include Rage is Back, which is being adapted for the stage by Mansbach and playwright Idris Goodwin; the California Book Award-winning The End of the Jews; and the cult classic Angry Black White Boy, which is taught at more than eighty schools and was adapted into a prize-winning stage play. His new book is The Dead Run,  an edgy novel set in the netherworld of the Mexican-American border.

On both sides of the border, girls are going missing and bodies are beginning to surface. It’s a deadly epidemic of crime that plunges a small-town police chief into a monster of an investigation he's not equipped to handle. An ancient evil has returned, and now everyone—the innocent and the guilty—must face their deepest terrors.

Mansbach is the recipient of a Reed Award, a Webby Award, and a Gold Pollie from the American Association of Political Consultants for his 2012 campaign video "Wake The Fuck Up." An inaugural recipient of the Ford Foundation's Future Aesthetics Artist Grant, Mansbach was a 2012 Sundance Institute Screenwriting Lab fellow and the recipient of the Indian Paintbrush/Sundance Institute Feature Filmwriting Grant. He is a 2013 grantee of both the Berkeley Repertory Theater and the Hip Hop Theater Festival. The 2009-2011 New Voices Professor of Fiction at Rutgers University, he edited and published the pioneering 1990s hip hop journal Elementary and spent several years traveling as a drum technician with the Elvin Jones Jazz Machine. His fiction and essays have appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times Book Review, Esquire, The Believer, N+1, The Guardian,, and on National Public Radio's All Things Considered. Mansbach co-hosts the KPFA/Pacifica radio show "Father Figures", is  currently adapting the children's classic The Pushcart War for Park Pictures, and is the 2014 Artist in Residence at Stanford University's Institute for Diversity in the Arts.





The Explanation for Everything: A Novel Cover Image
Email or call for price
ISBN: 9781616201128
Availability: Out of Print
Published: Algonquin Books - September 3rd, 2013

The Dead Run Cover Image
Email or call for price
ISBN: 9780062199652
Availability: Out of Print
Published: Voyager - September 24th, 2013