From the Memoirs of a Non-Enemy Combatant
By Alex Gilvarry
(Penguin Books, Paperback, 9780143123064, 320pp.)
Publication Date: December 24, 2012
Other Editions of This Title: Hardcover
Unveiling two of America's most illusory realms—high fashion and Homeland Security—Alex Gilvarry's widely acclaimed first novel is the story of designer Boy Hernandez: Filipino immigrant, New York glamour junkie, Guantánamo detainee. Locked away indefinitely and accused of being linked to a terrorist plot, Boy prepares for the tribunal of his life with this intimate confession, a dazzling swirl of soirees, runways, and hipster romance that charts one small man's pursuit of the big American dream—even as the present nightmare of detainment chisels away at his vital wit and chutzpah. From the Memoirs of a Non-Enemy Combatant is funny, wise, and beguiling, a Kafkaesque tale for our strange times.
Alex Gilvarry is the founding editor of the website Tottenville Review; he has been named a Norman Mailer Fellow; and he has contributed writing to the Paris Review, Vogue, and NPR's All Things Considered. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Alex Gilvarry's dark first novel occupies a wacky continuum that begins at the center of haute couture, and ends in solitary confinement. The book is From the Memoirs of a Non-Enemy Combatant and it looks at one man's trip into military detention. Host Rachel Martin talks with Gilvarry about his book. More at NPR.org
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“Delicious . . . A left-handed love letter to America.”
—Daniel Asa Rose, The New York Times Book Review
“Lively . . . Hilarious . . . [This] whirligig of a book draws some striking parallels between the way we mythologize stars and the way we look at terrorists.”
—John Freeman, The Boston Globe
“It's rare for a novel to tread so fearlessly into the political and yet to emerge so deeply funny and humane. Gilvarry is a young talent on the rise. Watch him gallop through the mess we’ve made of our civilization with style and panache.”
—Gary Shteyngart, author of Super Sad True Love Story and Absurdistan
“The deepest intelligence is poetic, incisive and inordinately funny. Heads up, folks. Alex Gilvarry just walked through the door.”
—Colum McCann, author of Let the Great World Spin and Zoli
“Finally, a young American novelist who has the guts to confront the absurdity of the last decade. Gilvarry has given us a sly, hilarious, and wickedly insightful book about living in the United States (or trying to live in the U.S.) in the aftermath of September 11th. Fashion, terrorism, New York and Guantanamo Bay: in the hands of Gilvarry, hilarity ensues. A brilliant debut.”
—Michael Hastings, author of The Operators