We're pleased to welcome Peter Coviello in support of his new book Is There God After Prince?: Dispatches from an Age of Last Things. He'll be joined in conversation with Paul Erickson.
About the book: Essays considering what it means to love art, culture, and people in an age of accelerating disaster.
This is a book about loving things--books, songs, people--in the shadow of a felt, looming disaster. Through lyrical, funny, heart-wrenching essays, Peter Coviello considers pieces of culture across a fantastic range, setting them inside the vivid scenes of friendship, dispute, romance, talk, and loss, where they enter our lives. Alongside him, we reencounter movies like The Shining, shows like The Sopranos; videos; poems; novels by Sam Lipsyte, Sally Rooney, and Paula Fox; as well as songs by Joni Mitchell, Gladys Knight, Steely Dan, Pavement, and the much-mourned saint of Minneapolis, Prince.
Navigating an overwhelming feeling that Coviello calls "endstrickenness," he asks what it means to love things in calamitous times, when so much seems to be shambling toward collapse. Balancing comedy and anger, exhilaration and sorrow, Coviello illuminates the strange ways the things we cherish help us to hold on to life and to its turbulent joys. Is There God after Prince? shows us what twenty-first-century criticism can be, and how it might speak to us, in a time of ruin, in an age of "Last Things."
Peter Coviello is the author of five previous books, including Tomorrow's Parties, a finalist for a 2013 Lambda Award in LGBT Studies; Long Players, a memoir selected as one of Artforum's Ten Best Books of 2018; and Make Yourselves Gods, also published by the University of Chicago Press. His essays have appeared in Frieze, Chicago Review, Los Angeles Review of Books, Raritan, Elle, and Believer, among other publications. He is professor of English at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Paul Erickson is the world's foremost Nerd Parodist. He is also the author of several non-fiction books for young readers, including DAILY LIFE IN A COVERED WAGON and DAILY LIFE ON A SOUTHERN PLANTATION.