A stunningly ambitious, prescient novel about madness, generational trauma, and cultural breakdown
The Swank Hotel
- “Corin's novel unveils the madness that permeates society by scrutinizing trauma, cultural expectations, and the political and economic climate of the twenty-first century.”—Booklist
The story that swirls around Em moves through several perspectives and voices. There is Frank, the tart-tongued, failing manager at her office; Jack, the man with whom Frank has had a love affair for decades; Em and Ad’s eccentric parents who live in a house that is perpetually being built; and Tasio, the young man from Chiapas who works for them and falls in love with Ad. Through them Corin portrays porousness and breakdown in individuals and families, in economies and political systems, in architecture, technology, and even in language itself.
The Swank Hotel is an acrobatic, unforgettable, surreal, and unexpectedly comic novel that interrogates the illusory dream of stability that pervaded early twenty-first century America.
VIRTUAL: Lucy Corin (THE SWANK HOTEL), Susan Steinberg (MACHINE), and Deb Olin Unferth (BARN 8) reading and in conversation, presented by City Lights Booksellers
- “Delightfully askew, Corin’s work offers a memorable exploration of how a loved one’s mental illness can impact an individual’s outlook.”—Publishers Weekly
“Whenever the dull carapace of cliché seems to swallow the world, I reach for Lucy Corin’s books and the violent magic of her storytelling. Here is a writer light years ahead of her time returning to explore the recent past of our ongoing American crises.”—Karen Russell
“In The Swank Hotel, Lucy Corin brilliantly fashions a world where grief, familial love, ambulation, and detection are entwined as four dimensions of the same problem: time. . . . This is a devastating, enthralling, and mysteriously hopeful adventure.”—Renee Gladman
- “With love, brilliance, humor, and weird wild energy, Lucy Corin has written a perfect story. Every page of The Swank Hotel is hilarious, heartbreaking, strange. To follow Em and Ad, and the other radiant characters in this novel, is to follow Jane Bowles straight into the future.”—Deb Olin Unferth