“A storyteller of the first order.”Joshua Ferris
“Josh Weil is a spectacular talent.”Lauren Groff
Following his debut Dayton Literary Peace Prize-winning novel, The Great Glass Sea, Sue Kaufman Prize winner and National Book Foundation “5 Under 35” author Josh Weil brings together stories selected from a decade of work in one stellar new collection that explores themes of progress, the pursuit of knowledge, and humankind’s eternal attempt to decrease the darkness in the world.
Beginning at the dawn of the past century, in the early days of electrification, and moving into an imagined future in which the world is lit day and night, each tale in The Age of Perpetual Light follows deeply-felt characters through different eras in American history; from a Jewish dry goods peddler who falls in love with an Amish woman while showing her the wonders of an Edison Lamp, to a 1940 farmers’ uprising against the unfair practices of a power company, a Serbian immigrant teenage boy in 1990’s Vermont desperate to catch a glimpse of an experimental satellite, to a back-to-the-land couple forced to grapple with their daughter’s autism during winter’s longest night. As he did with the rough-living figures in his soulful and “devastatingly memorable” (Binnie Kirshenbaum) The New Valley, in The Age of Perpetual Light Weil explores through his unforgettable characters our most complex and fraught desires.
Brilliantly hewn and piercingly observant, these are tales that speak to the all-too-human desire for advancement and the struggle of wounded hearts to find a salve, no matter what the cost. This is a breathtaking book from one of our brightest literary lights.
|Product dimensions:||5.40(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.80(d)|
About the Author
Read an Excerpt
I’m behind the barn, splitting burnwood, when I see the bear coming for our daughter. It’s December, dusk. At my back: high piles of cut rounds. Out in the field: the bucked trees stacked, their drag marks dark in all the snow, the pines looking almost black beyond. And between their trunks: a patch of true black moving. Everything else is stillthe stone wall, the glass greenhouse, the sledding hill behind our home, packed hard by the weight of my wife and daughter gone down run after runexcept a spot of orange: Orly in her snowsuit. Rolling snow boulders. Down by the old stone wall at the edge of the woods. Beneath the splitter’s rumble, the shaking of the pine boughs is a silent ripple washing steadily towards her.
For a second I can feel her in my handsthe heft of her when I first pick her up, my arms strained with her strugglingand then it’s just the log again and Orly is out there, suddenly standing straight up, staring into the trees. Her hands are bareshe will not suffer gloves, shucks mittens as soon as she thinks she’s out of sighther fingers stained so bright by markers I can see them slowly curling towards her palms. She takes a snowsuit-stiffened step. Another. The first time we zipped her into the hunter’s camouflage, I crouched down, winked. Hey bub, I said, get me a beer, eh? Bess laughed. But Orly only asked, Who’s Bub? And when I poked her bright orange belly with a wriggly finger, my wife said, Ev, the way I knew meant Stop.
Table of Contents
Also by Josh Weil,
No Flies, No Folly,
Long Bright Line,
The Essential Constituent of Modern Living Standards,
Angle of Reflection,
The Point of Roughness,
The First Bad Thing,
Hello From Here,