As I said this morning, Sam Lipsyte's reading tonight is the biggest reading of the week. In the books section, we just published an in-depth interview with Lipsyte about the humor tradition in literary novels, Lipsyte's newly discovered ability to write realistic children, and how this was a book for our times even before our times became our times:

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When I was reading the book, you know obviously the Iraq war was in there, and it felt like a lot of the financial downturn was in there and I believe you started writing this before all that, right?

Yeah, I started it right around after Home Land came out.

Yeah, that's what I thought. So I was wondering how much of this you went back and sort of recoded into the book.

I just have this gift. I can predict the economy.

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And yet you spend your time being a writer. You just don't have the vision for financial planning, I guess.

Yeah, it just seems tedious. No, I didn't go back and put anything in. I wrote with the idea that this character was up against the wall. Even during the so-called fat times, most of the people I knew were still struggling on some level. And I think that I have kind of a pessimistic view of the way that wealth is distributed and the way the economy functions, so it wasn't hard for me to call it a dark time, even though it wasn't officially a dark time. And so then when it did become a dark time, it just sort of expanded things in the book.

I hope you'll read the whole thing.