The House of Tomorrow
By Peter Bognanni
(Putnam Adult, Hardcover, 9780399156090, 368pp.)
Publication Date: March 4, 2010
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Sebastian Prendergast lives in a geodesic dome with his eccentric grandmother, who homeschooled him in the teachings of futurist philosopher R. Buckminster Fuller. But when his grandmother has a stroke, Sebastian is forced to leave the dome and make his own way in town.
Jared Whitcomb is a chain-smoking sixteen-year-old heart-transplant recipient who befriends Sebastian, and begins to teach him about all the things he has been missing, including grape soda, girls, and Sid Vicious. They form a punk band called The Rash, and it's clear that the upcoming Methodist Church talent show has never seen the likes of them. Wholly original, The House of Tomorrow is the story of a young man's self-discovery, a dying woman's last wish, and a band of misfits trying desperately to be heard.
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Peter Bognanni is a recent graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where he was awarded a Teaching/Writing Fellowship for his work. His short fiction and humor pieces have appeared in Gulf Coast, The Bellingham Review and McSweeney’s Internet Tendency. He is a 2008 Pushcart Nominee, and his short story “The Body Eternal” was chosen by Stephen King as one of the “100 Most Distinguished Stories of 2006” in Best American Short Stories. He is currently a Visiting Instructor of Creative Writing at Macalester College in Saint Paul, Minnesota. He once played in a terrible high school punk band.
- Do you think Nana is brainwashed with Fuller's idealist lifestyle, or does she really believe it? Why do you think she finds it better to keep Sebastian sequestered at the dome than allow him to interact with the outside world regularly?
"I adore this book, not only for its ability to love our ludicrous hearts, but also for the way it makes dividing questions about whether good literature comes from the heart or the mind seem like nonsense."
-Rivka Galchen, author of Atmospheric Disturbances: A Novel
"Under the screaming rage of a Misfits or Ramones song, you can hear a heart beating, and that's where Peter Bognanni gets to work-his wild and tender book reveals how much a couple of scared boys can say to each other with a little hateful noise."
-Rob Sheffield, author of Love is a Mix Tape
"A geodesic dome in Iowa: The House of Tomorrow, as its title and premise promise, marries the visionary with the everyday, the whizbang with the domestic, and does it with beauty, humor, and love for each one of its flawed characters. Peter Bognanni remembers all the romance and awkwardness of teen life and teen music. His first novel is headlong, hilarious, heartbreaking."