Image by Michael O’Laughlin
Patrick Nathan‘s first novel, Some Hell, is out now from Graywolf Press. His short fiction has appeared in Boulevard, Words in Light, dislocate, Revolver, and elsewhere.
His essays, interviews, and book reviews have been published in The Los Angeles Review of Books, The Rumpus, 3:AM Magazine, Music & Literature, Full Stop, and Bookslut. He lives in Minneapolis.
A wrenching and layered debut novel about a gay teen’s coming of age in the aftermath of his father’s suicide.
Middle school hasn’t been going well for Colin. His teenage sister teases him mercilessly, his autistic brother lashes out at him, and he has a crush on his best friend, Andy. But after the tragic night when his father commits suicide, none of that matters. Diane, his mother, seeks solace in therapy. Colin is awash in guilt, and casts about for someone to confide in: first his estranged grandfather, then a predatory science teacher. But nothing helps as much as the strange writing his father kept in a series of notebooks locked in his study. Colin looks for answers there—in fragments about disaster scenarios, the violence of snow, mustangs running wild in the west—but instead finds the writing infecting his worldview. Diane, meanwhile, has a miserable fling with a coworker, and leans more heavily on Colin for support as things go from bad to worse. But spring is unfolding, and a road trip to Los Angeles gives them a tantalizing glimpse of what the future might hold. In Some Hell, a debut novel of devastating intensity and aching, pointillistic detail, Patrick Nathan shows how unspeakable tragedy shapes a life, and how imagination saves us from ourselves. (Graywolf Press)
“A gripping account of the intricately woven mind of a teenager. . . . Nathan has crafted an all-consuming novel in which topics like suicide, homosexuality, parenting, friendship, and psychology make up a precarious tableau in which readers can leave their own subjectivity behind and experience the world from Colin’s singular viewpoint. . . . A magnetic first novel combining wit, sex, and apocalyptic reverie.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review
3/14/2018 Book Soup @ 7:00 PM:
A discussion and signing of Some Hell, with guest Matthew Specktor
Interview & Press
“Fissures Splinter a Family’s Suburban Facade” by Alexander Chee in The New York Times