Giant Steps

The L Magazine speaks with Jack Pendarvis about his new novel, Awesome, a story about a ridiculously egotistical giant stomping across America in an effort to regain the affections of his lady love. (A review for the Minneapolis Star-Tribune is forthcoming now online; I was very smitten with his 2007 story collection, Your Body Is Changing.) I think the new novel is more of a cultural satire than Pendarvis is willing to confess, and that his characters are less well-adjusted than he’ll say—but that’s part of the fun. Pendarvis tells the magazine:

In retrospect I saw that there might be a few political or cultural applications of the character of Awesome. And I suppose the impulse to create the character was cultural in a small way: I had noticed that lots of reviewers referred to my characters as “losers.” Whether I got a bad review or a wonderful review, people used that word. I thought, you know, “Reviewers must be the most mentally healthy and successful people on the planet,” because my characters are just — or so I thought — people with problems, and we all have problems. I thought, “What’s a winner? Should I write about a winner? Has there ever been a book about a winner? Is a winner somebody with no problems… a sexy, rich, handsome, giant with zero self-doubt?”

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