Ben Ehrenreich introduces The Suitors, a debut novel very, very loosely based on Homer's Odyssey. Focused less on the Odysseus character (herein named Payne) and more on the Penelope character (Penny) and her much-maligned, ill-fated suitors, Ehrenreich's novel is set in an isolated corner of a bizarre, anachronistic world in some ways not so distant from our own, where his tale takes place under the shadow of Payne's return from a faraway war and the slaughter that his return forebodes. Like many present day suitors, Ehrenreich's are a ragged group - needy, greedy, addled by drink and drugs. They're united only in their desire for Penny, who is torn between the resentment she feels for Payne and a tortured nostalgia for his love. THE SUITORS is a meditation on love and exile, memory and desire, identity and violence. Ben Ehrenreich is a regular writer for L.A. Weekly, and his writing has appeared in The Village Voice, The Believer, The Los Angeles Times, McSweeney's, and Bomb magazine among many others. His story "What You Eat" was included in Dave Eggers' Best American Nonrequired Reading of 2004.moreless
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