So when he created his own realm full of young magicians — starting in his 2009 hit The Magicians and continued in his new sequel, The Magician King — Grossman took the opposite approach.

His characters, a bunch of gifted math nerds from Brooklyn, are obsessed with a Narnia-esque land called Fillory, well-versed in Potter lore, and speak not in the faux-Olde English style but in 21st-century teenaged patter: "This place is magic as balls!" hero Quentin Coldwater exclaims toward the beginning of the new novel.

His work has been characterized in review shorthand as "Harry Potter for adults" — and the stories are certainly not G-rated, with torrid intermagician affairs and bloody magical shootouts. Grossman will speak at 12:30 p.m. Saturday in the Auditorium (Building 1, Second Floor, Room 1261). — Tim Elfrink

Palahniuk: "My books all start with some horrible, unresolved thing in my own life."
© Shawn Grant
Palahniuk: "My books all start with some horrible, unresolved thing in my own life."

One night, Adam Mansbach spent two hours cooing and reading to his 2-year-old daughter, Vivian, before she finally closed her eyes. Mansbach, who's written the grown-up novels Angry Black White Boy and The End of the Jews, went to his computer and wearily hammered out a status update: "Be on the lookout for my forthcoming children's book, Go the Fuck to Sleep."

He was kidding. But all of his Facebook friends thought the idea was genius. So Mansbach wrote the thing. The little manuscript reads like Goodnight Moon according to Lenny Bruce.

To Mansbach's surprise, publisher Akashic immediately agreed to produce the book as a colorful hardcover. Go the Fuck to Sleep hit number one on the New York Times bestseller list. "What parents have told me," says Mansbach, "is that it put into print what every parent has thought. The book is very honest. That's why it's successful."

So successful, in fact, that it's spawned a league of imitators, including the forthcoming If You Give a Kid a Cookie, Will He Shut the Fuck Up? When the author of that title contacted Mansbach in hopes of a positive blurb, Mansbach became angry enough to, well, write another children's book.

"Give me a fucking break," he says now. "Stop ripping my shit off. Get your own idea." Mansbach will speak at 6 p.m. Friday. — Gus Garcia-Roberts

« Previous Page
 |
 
1
 
2
 
All
 
My Voice Nation Help
 
Miami Concert Tickets
Loading...