Today, Echo of the Boom officially comes out. Here is a sneak peak at pages 462 and 463. But you know, on fire.
It’s pub day for Maxwell Neely-Cohen! He told me he dropped this burning copy of Echo of the Boom about one-half second after his friend took this photo.
"FEELS" HAS BEEN A LEGIT TERM SINCE AT LEAST 1782:
— The Duchess, by Amanda Foreman.
Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire, really wrote a real letter to her mother complaining about the feels in 1782.
I love everything.
Georgiana ought to be made the honorary first user of tumblr.
Wish I’d had a little more room to express my glee — I mean, all my feels — about this, but it’s in my latest NYT Mag mini-column.
(Thanks, Karen Healey and Walter! And thanks, Stan, for looking up the OED’s earliest recorded use: 1837.)
A friend and I were beginning that strange dance of making plans to make plans, when I mentioned that I’d be traveling to Jerusalem soon. “We should get together right away,” he joked, “before you come down with Messiah syndrome.” It was the kind of precision-targeted crack only an old friend can manage. I can’t remember whether I laughed or winced first.
When I was young, my mother had a feverish conversion and started a church in our living room. I’d always been a tiny bit anxious that I might one day follow suit, hear the calling myself, start roaming the streets, preaching salvation. A committed but fearful agnostic, I’d never intended to tempt fate by visiting the Holy Land. But I was going to the Jerusalem Book Fair….
“Doubter in the Holy Land,” my essay for NYT Mag’s Lives
“ We were related to Sam Houston—governor of Tennessee, governor of Texas, rememberer of the Alamo—but not to Whitney. I learned this about my family ten years or so after being born into it. I was not quite sure how this could be true but I did not press the issue. Of more personal interest to me at the time was the fact that we also had a castle. After my father’s father died, my grandmother went with her sister Lucy and their cousin Billy to Scotland and found it, walked around and through the crumbled gray keep and the jagged tower on the cliff overlooking Loch Ness. Billy took a photograph my grandmother later framed and hung on her dining room wall, under the tartan swatches and the coats-of-arms of the rest of the family’s families: the Comyns, the Carrs, the Jareds, the Lowes. Someone among them had fought alongside William Wallace, or so we were told, or so we told ourselves. When I watched Braveheart, years later, I found myself trying to pick out familiar faces among the face-painted hordes. There were a few.
Your mentor has anointed one of her other favorite students to sleep with the art teacher, but you, despite your little “pig-like” eyes, sleep with him instead.
You identify communist intellectuals from the variety of dyspepsia remedies on the bathroom shelf.
Such bad luck! You killed the nanny instead of your wife and have had to spend most of your life in hiding.
And other clues I put together for The Toast…
Burning my own book did not feel the way I thought it would. No part of it felt destructive or transgressive. It felt appropriate. Like it would have been weird if I had not have burned it.
The word “fire” occurs 23 times in Echo of the Boom. “Burn” occurs 44 times. The final edit that was made before locking the manuscript was the removal of the line “close enough, this page might simply burn in your hands.” They took it out because of the people who would be reading the digital version. I guess you can’t really burn a book anymore. Only a copy of a book.
- Maxwell Neely-Cohen
“There will be little rubs and disappointments everywhere, and we are all apt to expect too much; but then, if one scheme of happiness fails, human nature turns to another; if the first calculation is wrong, we make a second better: we find comfort somewhere.”
― Jane Austen, Mansfield Park