Release Date: October 1, 2011
eBook Price: $7.99
With a Proustian knack for recalling the smallest detail—from a superficial conversation to the exquisite pain of the perfect kiss—Hunter Flanagan deftly navigates past and present, simultaneously analyzing, deconstructing and torturing himself with memories of every girl he's lost or loved. For Hunter, writing is easy; it's love that comes hard. Even as he prepares to leave family, friends and Chicago—the city that made him—he never gives up on his pursuit of love and meaning. The Week You Weren't Here is a poignant and wry portrait of a young writer closing in on the last of his undergraduate days. Charles Blackstone's prose is a seamless match for Hunter's fragmented stream-of-consciousness. From encounters with the persistent "stalker" Kate, to the elusive Dewey, and the surprisingly independent sorority girl, Lila, Hunter exemplifies our longing for the defining moment—as fragile and quixotic a dream as life itself.
"The Week You Weren't Here is a witty and inventive deconstruction of a young-man-as-artist's pursuit of love among a confusion of choices. It's as if Kafka's Joseph K had been commissioned to write a Dating for Dummies (The How-Not-To version) in the form of a postmodern novel. This is an auspicious debut." —Jonathan Baumbach, author of On the Way to My Father's Funeral
"A coming-of-age story delivered as lightly punctuated stream-of-consciousness... at its best, The Week You Weren't Here achieves the pitch-perfect sensation of a quirky pop song." —Time Out Chicago
"Remarkable...Blackstone gracefully keeps [Hunter Flanagan] tottering on the precipice between romantic hero and irredeemable cad. It's a compelling balancing act to watch... An original voice." —Bookslut
"Charles Blackstone’s writing reminds me of the Kerouac I love and helps me forget the Kerouac I don’t. A story about a young writer smack-dab in the middle of that stage where a person moves from developing several crushes a day to developing several genuine romantic interests each day. Unlike most first novels about struggling writers as lovers, The Week You Weren’t Here is a novel about a struggling lover who writes... Blackstone’s exploration of a questioning mind not only provides you with an understanding of what makes a creative person tick, but also with a well-crafted and enjoyable read. This book reminds me of why I read fiction in the first place." —Consumatron.com
"The book is definitely an interesting and worthwhile read... The Week You Weren't Here has a lot to say about the human condition, and it says it well." —Sidereality
"Blackstone puts a slightly unsettling spin on the chick lit dating yarn, taking the reader inside the mind of aspiring writer and self proclaimed intellectual Hunter Flanagan." —The Big Issue
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Charles Blackstone is the co-editor of The Art of Friction: Where (Non) Fictions Come Together, an anthology of genre-defying short fiction and creative nonfiction, featuring the work of Thomas Beller, Junot Díaz, Jonathan Safran Foer, Kaylie Jones, Achy Obejas, and many more, published in 2008 by the University of Texas Press. His short work has appeared in Esquire, Evergreen Review, The Wall Street Journal, Modern Luxury, and elsewhere. Currently he is Managing Editor of Bookslut and lives in Chicago.