Episode 17: & Sons by David Gilbert
The sons in & Sons are Richard, Jamie, and Andy, the offspring of Pulitzer-prize winning novelist A.N. Dyer, most famous for his first novel, Ampersand, kind of a cross between Catcher in the Rye and Lord of the Flies. Another son is Philip Topping, scion of A.N. Dyer’s oldest friend and a wannabe son to A.N. Dyer himself. Richard and Jamie have been largely estranged from their father for many years, but now that his health is failing, the whole clan has come together at the patriarch’s request. Philip relates the story of this reunion, in a manner whose reliability is deliberately at issue.
In one of the most fascinating interviews ever on Book Talk, author David Gilbert tells us the secrets behind the titles of A.N. Dyer's novels, opens up the possibility that our narrator Philip is himself a fictional creation, and discusses what it means when you decide to kill off a character by having him get hit by a bus.
Guest readers Annie Thoms and Jessica Sager join host Cyd Oppenheimer to talk about shoes, closets, and the ways this post-modern novel plays with our understanding of stories, truth, and our own histories.