photo by Valerie Nesteruk
"No problem," Elgin says.|
"It will be a problem," I say, "if you don’t talk to the maitre d’. Go give him a fifty."
"I gave him a hundred."
Touché. The joint is packed with loud rich people, mostly couples, some - the ones stuck at the bar tables - most likely in from Long Island or Jersey to celebrate momentous occasions. Elgin orders another scotch. "How’s school?" he says.
"Stimulating," I say. "Real stimulating. What about you?" I say. "How’s, uh, whatever it is you do?"
"I don’t do anything," he says. "Remember?"
"Oh, yeah, right," I say. "How’s that?"
He shrugs. "Here," he says, "I got you something," and I think, oh, God, not another fucking gift. How pathetic can this man be? He hands me a book, unwrapped, a first edition of The Sound and the Fury, which must be worth quite a bit since only about three were printed in the first run, and I feel completely taken advantage of, somehow, like this guy has no right to even be able to guess what I might or might not care about, not that I care about this, though it’s not a bad guess. I flip through the pages. "First edition," I say. "I’ve never understood why people are willing to pay more for these. I mean, the words are the same, right?" I lay the book on the bar.
read the entire excerpt
We were able to get an advance copy of this book. It's our friend Samuel Ligon's first novel. Released by Harper Collins on April 4, this is the story of nihilistic fantasy - a pair of misfits are drawn inexorably to a reckless fate.
Safe in Heaven Dead
written by Samuel Ligon
ArtSavant interview with Sam
Dawn Ballenger's review of Safe in Heaven Dead
Author Samuel Ligon, featured now on our pages, has a novel coming out in April, entitled Safe in Heaven Dead. It's garnering interest as it passes across desks at Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, our digest, and The New York Times. Kirkus calls it "an expertly motivated debut that moves briskly and doesn't lose sight of its affecting purpose." The starred review in Publishers Weekly begins, "Though Ligon's opening sentence reveals the catastrophic fate of the main character, this debut suspense novel instantly seizes and holds the imagination, even when one knows the final outcome."
So that we might have more of a taste of his work, Sam has generously given us a exclusive look at this short story:
by Samuel Ligon