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10:04: A Novel
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Farrar, Straus and Giroux 2014
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Description

A stunning, urgent, and original novel from Ben Lerner (The Topeka School and Leaving the Atocha Station) about making art, love, and children during the twilight of an empire.
Winner of The Paris Review's 2012 Terry Southern Prize
A Finalist for the 2014 Folio Prize and the NYPL Young Lions Fiction Award

In the last year, the narrator of 10:04 has enjoyed unlikely literary success, has been diagnosed with a potentially fatal medical condition, and has been asked by his best friend to help her conceive a child. In a New York of increasingly frequent superstorms and social unrest, he must reckon with his own mortality and the prospect of fatherhood in a city that might soon be underwater.
A writer whose work Jonathan Franzen has called "hilarious . . . cracklingly intelligent . . . and original in every sentence," Lerner captures what it's like to be alive now when the difficulty of imagining a future is changing our relationship to both the present and the past.
Named One of the Best Books of the Year By:
The New Yorker The New York Times Book Review The Wall Street Journal The Village Voice The Boston Globe NPR Vanity Fair The Guardian (London) The L Magazine The Times Literary Supplement (London) The Globe and Mail (Toronto) The Huffington Post Gawker Flavorwire San Francisco Chronicle The Kansas City Star The Jewish Daily Forward Tin House

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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
09/02/2014
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780374711344
ASIN:
B00ILWNTTS
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Ben Lerner. (2014). 10:04: A Novel. Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Ben Lerner. 2014. 10:04: A Novel. Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Ben Lerner, 10:04: A Novel. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2014.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Ben Lerner. 10:04: A Novel. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2014. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Date Added:
Jun 12, 2018 16:49:13
Date Updated:
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      • bioText: Ben Lerner was born in Topeka, Kansas, in 1979. He has received fellowships from the Fulbright, Guggenheim, Howard, and MacArthur Foundations. His first novel, Leaving the Atocha Station, won the 2012 Believer Book Award, and excerpts from 10:04 have been awarded The Paris Review's Terry Southern Prize. He has published three poetry collections: The Lichtenberg Figures, Angle of Yaw (a finalist for the National Book Award for Poetry), and Mean Free Path. Lerner is a professor of English at Brooklyn College.
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A stunning, urgent, and original novel from Ben Lerner (The Topeka School and Leaving the Atocha Station) about making art, love, and children during the twilight of an empire.
Winner of The Paris Review's 2012 Terry Southern Prize
A Finalist for the 2014 Folio Prize and the NYPL Young Lions Fiction Award

In the last year, the narrator of 10:04 has enjoyed unlikely literary success, has been diagnosed with a potentially fatal medical condition, and has been asked by his best friend to help her conceive a child. In a New York of increasingly frequent superstorms and social unrest, he must reckon with his own mortality and the prospect of fatherhood in a city that might soon be underwater.
A writer whose work Jonathan Franzen has called "hilarious . . . cracklingly intelligent . . . and original in every sentence," Lerner captures what it's like to be alive now when the difficulty of imagining a future is changing our...

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fullDescription

A stunning, urgent, and original novel from Ben Lerner (The Topeka School and Leaving the Atocha Station) about making art, love, and children during the twilight of an empire.
Winner of The Paris Review's 2012 Terry Southern Prize
A Finalist for the 2014 Folio Prize and the NYPL Young Lions Fiction Award

In the last year, the narrator of 10:04 has enjoyed unlikely literary success, has been diagnosed with a potentially fatal medical condition, and has been asked by his best friend to help her conceive a child. In a New York of increasingly frequent superstorms and social unrest, he must reckon with his own mortality and the prospect of fatherhood in a city that might soon be underwater.
A writer whose work Jonathan Franzen has called "hilarious . . . cracklingly intelligent . . . and original in every sentence," Lerner captures what it's like to be alive now when the difficulty of imagining a future is changing our relationship to both the present and the past.
Named One of the Best Books of the Year By:
The New Yorker The New York Times Book Review The Wall Street Journal The Village Voice The Boston Globe NPR Vanity Fair The Guardian (London) The L Magazine The Times Literary Supplement (London) The Globe and Mail (Toronto) The Huffington Post Gawker Flavorwire San Francisco Chronicle The Kansas City Star The Jewish Daily Forward Tin House

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reviews
      • premium: False
      • source: Dwight Garner, The New York Times
      • content:

        "Mr. Lerner is among the most interesting young American novelists at present . . . In 10:04. he's written a striking and important novel of New York City, partly because he's so cognizant of both past and present. He's a walker in the city in conscious league with Walt Whitman . . . We come to relish seeing the world through this man's eyes."

      • premium: False
      • source: Maureen Corrigan, NPR's Fresh Air with Terry Gross
      • content: "Just how many singular reading experiences can one novelist serve up? . . . 10:04 is a mind-blowing book; to use Lerner's own description, it's a book that's written 'on the very edge of fiction' . . . Lerner obviously loves playing with language, stretching sentences out, folding them in on themselves, and making readers laugh out loud with the unexpected turns his paragraphs take . . . 10:04 is a strange and spectacular novel. Don't even worry about classifying it; just let Lerner's language sweep you off your feet."
      • premium: False
      • source: Maggie Nelson, The Los Angeles Review of Books
      • content: "At 240 pages, his new novel does not announce itself as a magnum opus. But given Lerner's considerable humor, rigorous intelligence, and shred breed of conscience--his bighearted spirit and formal achievement--it is. A generous, provocative, ambitious Chinese box of a novel, 10:04 is a near-perfect piece of literature, affirmative of both life and art, written with the full force of Lerner's intellectual, aesthetic, and empathetic powers, which are as considerable as they are vitalizing."
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        June 2, 2014
        In his second novel, an associative, self-aware roman à clef that ably blends cultures high and low, Lerner (Leaving the Atocha Station) explores the connections between contemporary life, art, and literary writing. The unnamed narrator is a 33-year-old Brooklyn-based novelist, poet, and teacher, at work on his second autobiographical novel, a follow-up to his debut, which was a surprise success (though a limited one). Much of his future hangs on the book’s marketability, and whether he can secure a sizable advance for it. Though he is in poor health (possibly Marfanoid), he has consented to the request of his best friend, Alex, that he help her conceive a child by being a sperm donor for her. Still, he frets over the degree to which he wants to be involved in the process and worries that it might jeopardize his relationship with the “mysterious” artist Alena. In his spare time, he also mentors a boy named Roberto, whose company leads him to even more self-doubt regarding his fitness for fatherhood. Lerner’s insistence on showing off his skill and his display of syntactical acrobatics sometimes result in overwrought constructions that detract from the narrative momentum, but readers who can overlook the sluggish start will be rewarded with engaging streams of thought and moments of tenderness.

      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        February 2, 2015
        Summerer reads Ben Lerner’s multilayerd literary novel with a cool, calm delivery that fits well with author’s bare prose. Set mostly in New York, in the time between hurricanes Irene and Sandy, this deeply introspective novel follows the narrator, a poet turned novelist, as he deals with the complexities the world around him. Will he finish his second novel, will he father a child with his best friend, and will the aneurysmal dilation of his aortic root kill him, or will a brain tumor get to him first? The author presents lovingly rendered reflections on art, creativity, life, death, and the world today through the eyes of the book’s perpetually bemused and befuddled protagonist, all with an expansive literary verbiage that can feel overwhelming—but Summerer’s straightforward delivery keeps the story focused, understandable, and moving at a controlled pace. He embraces the richness of Lerner’s language but never to the point of overindulgence. His dialogue is effective, with the characterizations appropriately individualistic but understated and without affectation. There is humor, drama, artistic angst, ennui, and Summerer manages to capture it all with talented aplomb. A Faber & Faber hardcover.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        August 1, 2014
        An acclaimed but modest-selling novelist (not unlike the author himself) muses semiautobiographically on time, life and art. "Proprioception": The narrator of Lerner's knotty second novel returns often to that word. It refers to the sense of where one's own body is in relation to things, a signature theme for an author who's determined to pinpoint exactly where he is emotionally and philosophically. As the novel opens, our hero has earned a hefty advance for his second book on the strength of his debut and a New Yorker story. This echoes Lerner's real life, in which his first novel, Leaving the Atocha Station (2011), was a critical hit; the New Yorker story included in this novel did indeed appear in the magazine. What to make of such self-referentiality? More than you'd expect. Lerner blurs the lines between fact and fiction not out of self-indulgence but as a way to capture experience that emphasizes detail over narrative structure. That can pack both an emotional and an intellectual punch. Watching Christian Marclay's art film The Clock (from which the book derives its title), Lerner is free to consider the distinctions between real time and imaginary time. Writing about his dead-ended attempt to make a novel out of fake letters between well-known writers, he plays with real and invented identities. There's plenty of dry wit in 10:04 and some laugh-out-loud moments too (as when he's asked to deliver a sperm sample on behalf of a friend eager to have a child). But as in his first novel, Lerner's chief tone is somber; Topic A remains whether his ambition will fully connect with his art. At times he seems to strain to make scraps of experience (a residency in Texas; prepping for Superstorm Sandy; a shift at a Brooklyn grocery co-op) relevant to his themes, but few novelists are working so hard to make experience grist for the mill. Provocative and thoughtful, if at times wooly and interior.

        COPYRIGHT(2014) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        Starred review from September 15, 2014

        A philosophical meditation on poetry's attempt--and ultimate failure--to approximate abstract beauty, Lerner's Leaving the Atocha Station still resonates among literary critics as one of the best novels of 2011. Similarly, the relentless striving to understand our own mortality even as we negotiate the infinite future effectively underscores this new work. Set in New York City, the story features an unnamed protagonist with a modicum of literary fame, a heart condition, and a best friend who needs his assistance to conceive a child. Though graciously contributing to the start of another life, the narrator is constantly aware of his own fragile existence. This vexing awareness of time forms the core of the novel. Whether wandering through dinosaur exhibits, ruminating over the Challenger explosion, or staring at the Marfa lights, our storyteller is continually musing on the triadic relationship of the present to the unknown past and the uncertain future. VERDICT An autoethnography that skillfully weaves Back to the Future, the brontosaurus, and Ronald Reagan into a narrative about living in the moment; highly recommended. [See Prepub Alert, 3/31/14.]--Joshua Finnell, Denison Univ. Lib., Granville, OH

        Copyright 2014 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        July 1, 2014
        Poet and novelist Lerner (Leaving the Atocha Station, 2011) captures in often beautiful and sometimes hilarious style the rhythms, dissonances, and ambiguities of a New York City set in . . . well, it's hard to say exactly when it is set, disorientation being one of the book's calculated effects. The past and presumed present are intermingled, perceptions shift, reality and technology are confused, and the narrative voice of the author is transformed into the writing style of its central character, also a writer. The epigraph (from a Hasidic tale) is of a reality where everything will be as it is now, just a little different, and a critical reference is Christian Marclay's (real) 24-hour film, The Clock, in which conventional plot is displaced in favor of interspersed scenes from other films wherein the otherwise disjointed action is keyed to real time (high noon, for example) in the movie clip. Lerner pulls this complex effort off with verve and a keen satiric eye and ear. This is a modern, very New York, and unique literary novel (with, perhaps, a nod to William Gaddis' The Recognitions).(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2014, American Library Association.)

subtitle
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popularity
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publisher
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