Buy This Novel! Yes, I Said NOVEL!

The last novel I read from beginning to end was Scott Heim's Mysterious Skin, which was way back in 1996 and which I later adapted into a stage play. Since then, I've eschewed novels for nonfiction tomes and suffered the snobbery of my literary friends. Basically, Scott Heim and his beautifully written and deeply affecting book ruined me for life.

Despite living on opposite ends of the country, Scott and I have managed to forge a lovely bond as strange soul mates (spending a day at Amoeba Records with him is an indescribable adventure, as is watching I Love New York on TV), and I was thrilled when he sent me an advanced copy of his new novel, We Disappear, a few months ago. I can finally let the secret out of the bag and let you know that I've been reading it—yes, I've been reading a NOVEL—and it is so achingly beautiful and personal that I'm actually afraid to read it too quickly, as if rushing through sentences too quickly might "break" the book. It's one that you will want to savor too.

If you go to the book's Amazon page, you can buy it (it was just released today) and find book tour information. I'll be attending Scott's reading here in San Francisco at Books Inc. on March 18, 2008. [Addendum 02.27.08: I have corrected the previously incorrect date. March 18, March 18, it's March 18!]

I won't read his reviews because I don't want to spoil the novel for myself, but I believe the one in the Los Angeles Times is stellar. You can also find a feature from The Washington Post right here.


  1. Hmm, I strongly recommend you instead attend his 7 p.m. reading on March 18 at Books Inc., in Castro. (rather than the 28th)

    My guess it will be better attended and will have the bonus of Scott there on that day.

    But, hey... I don't want to tell you how to roll.

  2. I have to admit I'm intrigued by any novel that a novel-hater would love. Does that mean the writer transcended some sort of fortress-like barrier? Or does that mean the hater lacks reference points?

    I just added We Disappear to my Amazon wish list. I shall find out.

  3. i guess i'll see you on the 18th! i might come for the open mic thing the night before. i have a funny bio my cat "wrote' i could read...

  4. Yeah, what Jeff said. Don't go to Scott's reading/signing on March 28th because that's when I bought tix for an L.A. performance of Jukebox Stories.

    You REALLY need to retrieve your Outlook calendar!

  5. Man, my readers won't let me get away with ANYTHING!

  6. By the way, Cheryl, I do not hate novels. I find that, since I tend to read books on and off over a long period of time, it's hard for me to remember everything I need to remember that happened in previous chapters. Hurts the narrative, and leaves me confused. Nonfiction--I don't really run into that problem. Ah, a lifelong dilemma--what to do, what to do....