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Stephan Eirik Clark in Conversation with Joe Loya at the Epicenter
08/21/2014 7:00 pm
Please join Green Apple Books at the Hotel Rex at 7:00 p.m. as we host alongside Litquake Stephan Eirik Clark in Conversation with Joe Loya at the Epicenter. Clark will be reading from his debut novel Sweetness #9.
About the Book
It’s 1973, and David Leveraux has landed his dream job as a Flavorist-in-Training, working in the secretive industry where chemists create the flavors for everything from the cherry in your can of soda to the butter on your popcorn.
While testing a new artificial sweetener—“Sweetness #9”—he notices unusual side effects in the laboratory rats and monkeys: anxiety, obesity, mutism, and a generalized dissatisfaction with life. David tries to blow the whistle, but he swallows it instead.
Years later, Sweetness #9 is America’s most popular sweetener—and David’s family is changing. His wife is gaining weight, his son has stopped using verbs, and his daughter suffers from a generalized dissatisfaction with life. Is Sweetness #9 to blame, along with David’s failure to stop it? Or are these just symptoms of the American condition?
David’s search for an answer unfolds in this expansive novel that is at once a comic satire, a family story, and a profound exploration of our deepest cultural anxieties. Wickedly funny and wildly imaginative, Sweetness #9 questions whether what we eat truly makes us who we are.
Stephan Eirik Clark was born in West Germany and raised between England and the United States. He is author of Sweetness #9 as well as the short story collection Vladimir’s Mustache. A former Fulbright Fellow to Ukraine, he teaches English at Augsburg College in Minneapolis. This is his first novel.
Joe Loya is an essayist, playwright, filmmaker, actor, and author of the memoir The Man Who Outgrew His Prison Cell: Confessions of a Bank Robber, and the prison zombie apocalypse novel The Red Mile. Beside being a commentator on radio and TV, his essays have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, and McSweeney’s.
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