Virtual Event: Jessi Jezewska Stevens with Joshua Cohen — The Visitors

"A DeLillo-esque container for diamond-sharp insights into big data, eco-terrorism, and the subprime mortgage crisis—that, like the garden gnome who haunts its protagonist, I’m half-convinced it couldn’t possibly exist." —Adam Wilson


Third Place Books is pleased to partner with Community Bookstore (Brooklyn), and Exile in Bookville (Chicago) to welcome Jessi Jezewska Stevens—critically-acclaimed author of The Exhibition of Persephone Q—for a virtual, coast-to-coast discussion of her latest novel, The Visitors. She will be joined in conversation by Joshua Cohen, author of Moving Kings, the essay collection Attention: Dispatches from a Land of Distraction, and, most recently, The Netanyahus, winner of the National Jewish Book Award for Fiction and the Pulitzer Prize.

This event will be broadcast live on Third Place Books's Zoom at 4pm Pacific Time / 6pm Central Time / 7pm Eastern Time. Registering will provide you with a unique access link in an email. During the event, you can ask questions using the Q&A feature, or chat with fellow attendees. A recording of the event will be made available and emailed to all who register.

This author talk is free! You can sustain our author series by purchasing a copy of the featured book.

 

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About The Visitors. . .

From the author of The Exhibition of Persephone Q, a chilling fable about the necessity—and impossibility—of productivity, art, and love in an age governed by capitalist logic.

On the eve of the Occupy Wall Street protests, C is flat broke. Once a renowned textile artist, she’s now the sole proprietor of an arts supply store in Lower Manhattan. Divorced, alone, at loose ends, C is stuck with a struggling business, a stack of bills, a new erotic interest in her oldest girlfriend, and a persistent hallucination in the form of a rogue garden gnome with a pointed interest in systems collapse . . .

C needs to put her medical debt and her sex life in order, but how to make concrete plans with this little visitor haunting her apartment, sporting a three-piece suit and delivering impromptu lectures on the vulnerability of the national grid? Moreover, what's all this computer code doing in the story of her life? And do the answers to all of C's questions lie with an eco-hacktivist cabal threatening to end modern life as we know it?

Replaying recent history through a distorting glass, The Visitors is a mordantly funny tour through through a world where not only civic infrastructure but our darkest desires (not to mention our novels) are vulnerable to malware; where mythical creatures talk like Don DeLillo; where love is little more than a blip in our metadata. It peers into How We Got Here and asks What We Do Next, charting the last days of a broken status quo as the path is cleared for something new.

 

Praise for The Visitors. . .

“Jessi Jezewska Stevens’s frighteningly brilliant new novel The Visitors is both a bold reimagining of the recent past and an all-too-likely prophecy of what's to come. Caustic, intimate, and consistently surprising, this novel cements Stevens’s place as one of the great chroniclers of our cruel and terrifying times.”
—Andrew Martin, author of Cool for America

“Jessi Jezewksa Stevens's scalpel-fine prose—slicing with wit and pathos—belies the bewildering scope of The Visitors, which lays bare everything from the audacity of modern finance to the visceral costs of debt, love, and success. Yet while collapse looms nigh, every page beams with defiant jubilance and gut-punch insights. Equal parts revelatory and moving, The Visitors cuts to the core of the delusion and disillusionment of our era.”
—Jakob Guanzon, author of Abundance

“One of my favorite writers has written another imaginative and attentive marvel. The Visitors is about business: the business of staying alive, the business of being with others, the business of staying sane, and the business of business.”
—Rivka Galchen, author of Everyone Knows Your Mother is a Witch


Jessi Jezewska Stevens is the author of The Visitors and The Exhibition of Persephone Q. Her stories and essays have appeared in The New Yorker, The Nation, The New York TimesForeign Policy, The Paris Review, Tin House, and elsewhere. She holds a BA in Mathematics from Middlebury College and an MFA from Columbia University. She lives in New York and Geneva.

Joshua Cohen was born in 1980 in Atlantic City. His books include the novels The Netanyahus, Moving Kings, Book of Numbers, Witz, A Heaven of Others, and Cadenza for the Schneidermann Violin Concerto; the short fiction collection Four New Messages, and the non-fiction collection Attention: Dispatches from a Land of Distraction. Called "a major American writer" by the New York Times, and "an extraordinary prose stylist, surely one of the most prodigious at work in American fiction today" by the New Yorker, Cohen was awarded Israel’s 2013 Matanel Prize for Jewish Writers, and in 2017 was named one of Granta’s Best Young American Novelists. In 2022, he received the National Jewish Book Award for Fiction for The Netanyahus.


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