My favorite line from The Moviegoer, Walker Percy’s classic novel of lust and longing in New Orleans, is this: “To become aware of the possibility of a search is to be onto something. Not to be onto something is to be in despair.”
Which brings me to the Rickshaw Stop in San Francisco, tonight, where the writers who take the stage at Inside Storytime will be reading short pieces based on the theme Searching. In the lineup: Michael Disend, author of cult classic Stomping the Goyim; Barry Wildorf, author of Bring the War Home; Elizabeth Koch, who will be reading from The World Tour Compatibility Test; Roger Pinnell, and yours truly. I’ll be reading from my new San Francisco-centric novel The Year of Fog, which opens with the disappearance of a child on Ocean Beach. You can read the story behind the book here in the San Francisco Chronicle.
In addition to The Moviegoer, other books that come to mind when I think of “searching” are two older Ian McEwan novels: A Child in Time, and The Comfort of Strangers. For readers who came late to McEwan with the mainstream successes Atonement and Amsterdam, the two earlier novels might show you a side of McEwan you haven’t seen. Both are very short and deeply moody, and both are absolutely chilling.