By Ira Sher
(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Hardcover, 9780151014132, 336pp.)
Publication Date: March 2009
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Against the backdrop of the Singer Sewing Company, a novel of phobias, obsessions, a string of motel fires, and a troubled friendship In the early 1980s,Milton Menger, a wealthy art dealer living in New Jersey, is called by an estranged friend, Charles Trembleman, with whom he’s had no contact in years. Charley is a traveling salesman for the Singer Sewing Company and his hands have just been badly burned in a motel fire near Memphis.He needs a driver so he can continue traveling and selling.Milty rises to the occasion.Together they embark on a journey across the South, visiting showrooms and staying in locally owned motels. Is it a coincidence that these motels keep going up in flames?
With a DeLillo-like nostalgia for Americana, combined with the dark humor of a Coen brothers film, Ira Sher’s storytelling draws the reader in like a moth to the flame.
IRA SHER is the author of Gentlemen of Space:A Novel. His short fiction has been published in journals including the Chicago Review and the Gettysburg Review and broadcast on This American Life. He has been honored as a finalist for the Pushcart Prize and The Best American Mystery Stories.
PRAISE FOR SINGERSinger is smart, heartfelt, and wholly original.”Nick Flynn, author of Another Bullshit Night in Suck City