Earlier this year, queer novelist Garth Greenwell gave a talk
at Elliott Bay Book Company, where he was interviewed onstage by our own Christopher Frizzelle. Before the event, Frizzelle wrote, "Intensity is Greenwell's subject. The word itself appears twice on the first page of his second novel, Cleanness
, a subtly ironic title for the dirtiest novel the New Yorker
has excerpted in ages. The narrator is an English teacher from the United States living in Bulgaria. The novel is full of beautiful writing about the pitfalls of teaching, the violence of politics, and the purpose of poetry, but the sex scenes are the most memorable. Few writers write about sex so well and with so much sensitivity. The brilliance and animal warmth of Greenwell's style, the depth of insight, and the range of empathy, confer on even gloomy subjects a kind of radiance." Tonight, Frizzelle will interview the author again, this time via livestream, before this week's edition of the Silent Reading Party
(ticketed separately), at which Greenwell will be a special guest. A recording of the interview will be available after the event.