Monday, September 22, 2008

Don't mind the maggots

The Sacrificial Circumcision of the Bronx is the second in a projected five book dystopian epic about Robert Moses and an alternate history of New York City. In the prior book, the Swing Voter of Staten Island, Arthur Nersesian introduced Uli, an operative who discovers that what he thought was New York was a kind of refugee camp in the Nevada desert. The Bronx volume (Manhattan, Queens and Brooklyn sure to come) concerns Robert Moses, perhaps best known from Robert Caro's the Power Broker, and his unfortunate brother Paul, constantly thwarted and betrayed by his younger (and more sinister) brother.

Paul's path is sad and a bit pathetic and his sad life leads to a catastrophic decision. The villain of the book is definately Robert Moses and the crime is the historical destruction wrought on New York neighborhoods. Nersesian is exploring it via science fiction, although the real life damage to neighborhoods is sad enough.

The NYT recently published a profile piece on Nersesian and, if you live in Portland, you can see him at Powell's Burnside on Sept 30 at 7:30.

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