Liquid Ink

The official website of Gint Aras, Finalist 2016 CWA Book Award


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Getting compared to your idols

This past week, the Chicago Tribune ran this review of my novel, The Fugue. The reviewer, fellow Chicagoan Dmitry Samarov, called the book “magisterial,” said it goes for all the marbles and compared it to Dostoevsky.

Other commentators have compared my writing to other writers that I love, including Nelson Algren.

All these conversations are insane. They don’t feel real. I’m certain a moment is arriving when a director or other puppet-master will say, “We’re finished, thank you,” then turn off all the lights, unplug the equipment and send all the players back to reality.

I have so many questions about how this all happens. How is it that you read the books of the writers you love, write your own book and then end up getting compared to them? The comparisons are obvious compliments. But what’s going on? Have I internalized these forms, or are they attractive to me because I found parts of myself swimming in them, parts placed in a text long before I was born?

Today, I’d just like to nudge the director or puppet-master, if s/he’s reading. Don’t turn off the equipment. Not for a while, anyway.  I’d like to keep this insane conversation going.

Here’s a self-portrait I took of myself in Queens, NY.

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Reading in Oak Park, IL next week 

Next Thursday, Feb. 18, I’ll be reading at The Looking Glass Bookstore in lovely Oak Park, IL.  The Looking Glass is a gorgeous bookstore, only two years old, located less than a block from the Oak Park Avenue Blue Line station.

The details:

The Looking Glass, 823 S Oak Park Avenue, Oak Park, IL. 7:00. 

There are two quality pubs down the street, and I hope to join some friends and strangers for a beer afterwards. Hope to see you! 

  


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Book launch reading and gathering

I’m happy to announce that my book launch reading will take place at City Lit Books in Logan Square, here in Chicago, on December 17th at 6:30. Come purchase a copy of The Fugue, have it signed, meet me and support an amazing independent bookstore.

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I won’t be giving a traditional reading (the kind where a writer stands in front of people and mumbles), but will instead talk about the process of writing a long book, one that took fifteen years to publish. Interestingly, some of the topics The Fugue deals with are more relevant now than they were when I first started the manuscript: the sociology of refugees, a culture of fear and secrecy, and the search for meaning in a society whose institutions are failing. Of course, I’ll  read short sections.

There will be a brief musical interlude featuring world-class violinist Maria Storm. She’s going to play Bach’s Fugue from the Violin Sonata in G minor.

Afterwards, I hope interested parties will come along for a drink down at The Owl.

Help me figure out how much wine to get by announcing your wish to attend this event. Click here.