Associate Professor of English Steve Tomasula reads from his new novel IN & OZ at 7:30 p.m. in the Hammes Bookstore on Wednesday, Jan. 30.
About the author:
Tomasula is the author of the novels The Book of Portraiture (FC2); VAS: An Opera in Flatland (University of Chicago Press), an acclaimed novel of the biotech revolution; TOC: A New-Media Novel (FC2/University of Alabama Press); and most recently, IN&OZ (University of Chicago Press).
Incorporating narrative forms of all kinds—from comic books, travelogues, journalism or code to Hong Kong action movies or science reports—Tomasula’s writing has been called a ‘reinvention of the novel,’ combining an ‘attention to society in the tradition of Orwell, attention to language in the tradition of Beckett, and the humor of a Coover or Pynchon.’
His writing often crosses visual, as well as written genres, drawing on science and the arts to take up themes of how we represent what we think we know, and how these representations shape our lives. His short fiction has been published widely, and most recently in McSweeney’s, The Denver Quarterly, Fiction International, American Letters & Commentary, Western Humanities Review, Ninth Letter, and The Iowa Review where he received the Iowa Prize for the most distinguished work published in any genre.
Recent essays on body art, literature and culture can be found in Data Made Flesh (Routledge), Musing the Mosaic (SUNY), Leonardo (M.I.T.), and numerous magazines both here and in Europe. He holds a doctorate in English from the University of Illinois at Chicago.
About the novel:
IN & OZ is a novel of art, love, and auto mechanics. The story follows five different characters—an auto designer, photographer, musical composer, poet/sculptor, and mechanic—who live in two very different places: IN, a back alley here and now; and OZ, which reflects the desire for somewhere better.
The men and women who populate Tomasula’s landscape desperately hope to fill a void in their lives through a variety of media: music, language, dirt, light, and automobiles. As the plot moves forward, the story of the residents of INand that of their counterparts in OZconverge. A fanciful allegory that tackles class relations, art, commerce, and language, IN & OZ is a tale of the human condition that is as visually compelling as it is moving.
A novel not only for fiction lovers, but also for artists of all stripes, IN & OZ creates a fantasy that illumines our own world as it lucidly builds its own.