We’re in the midst of putting together our Summer issue, due out in May. One of the excellent stories we have in store for you is Patrick Somerville’s “The Universe in Miniature in Miniature.” Here’s just a taste:
We are in this van, on this court, doing surveillance on this house, because of Lucy. This is her project. There on her monitor? It’s a boy. His name is Ryan Conrad, he’s twenty-seven, he’s in a bed, and he has brain damage. Lucy’s project is large and many-tiered. She says she is breaking down the walls that went up after Milgram was deemed offensive. She says it’s up to the artists now, if we want to understand people. Her project is to observe the wholesale collapse of a family following major trauma. Her chosen family is the Conrad family; three years ago Ryan Conrad went from a good-looking and somewhat free-spirited law student with an IQ of 132 to an invalid incapable of dressing himself with an IQ of 50. He slipped on the ice and hit his head on the concrete. He was in a coma for a week, then woke up, not the same. I will tell you about his mother and father later. I will also later explain the further love complexities. Lucy and I are both in love with Ryan Conrad, too, but neither of us has admitted that yet.
But you do not have to wait until May to read hot-off-the-press Somerville fiction! His novel The Cradle releases today, from Little, Brown. Head to your nearest independent bookstore and pick up a copy. Here’s what Booklist said about The Cradle:
“With highly charged lyricism and dramatic concision, Somerville gracefully illuminates what children need, all that war demands, and how amends are made and sorrows are woven into the intricate tapestry of life.”
Also, the New York Times calls it a “magical” debut novel, and calls Somerville someone to watch. Obviously, we think so too.