The Loss of Leon Meed (Paperback)

A Novel

By Josh Emmons

Scribner, 9780743267199, 352pp.

Publication Date: May 13, 2008

Other Editions of This Title:
Hardcover (7/19/2005)

List Price: 21.99*
* Individual store prices may vary.


In Josh Emmons's inventive and utterly engaging debut, ten residents of Eureka, California, are brought together by a mysterious man, Leon Meed, who repeatedly and inexplicably appears -- in the ocean, at a local rock music club, clinging to the roof of a barreling truck, standing in the middle of Main Street's oncoming traffic -- and then, as if by magic, disappears.
Young and old, married and single, punk and evangelical, black, white, and Korean, each witness to these bewildering events interprets them differently, yet all of their lives are changed -- by the phenomenon itself, and by what it provokes in them. And whether they in turn stagger toward love, or heartbreakingly dissolve it, Emmons's portrayal of their stories is strikingly real and emotionally affecting.

About the Author

Born in 1973, Josh Emmons was raised in Northern California and received an MFA and teaching fellowship from the University of Iowa. He recently won the James Michener-Copernicus Society of America Award, which counts Michael Cunningham, Ann Patchett, Elizabeth McCracken, Ethan Canin, Nathan Englander, Adam Haslett, and Ann Packer as former winners. He lives with his wife in New Orleans.

Praise For The Loss of Leon Meed: A Novel

"A remarkable and moving portrait of America that pieces together the emotional life of a small city with a wit and range that recall Robert Altman's Nashville...The Loss of Leon Meed is mature yet playful, fanciful yet brimming with the details of contemporary life."
-- Gary Shteyngart, author of The Russian Debutante's Handbook

"What a pleasure to be welcomed to a brand-new world. Josh Emmons's Eureka, mapped with well-chosen details and a sympathetic eye, is populated by terrific characters whose quests for love, faith and mystery interlock with delicate grace and humor. I enjoyed them all, especially the enigmatic Leon Meed. His loss is our gain."
-- Glen David Gold, author of Carter Beats the Devil

"Here's how you know Josh Emmons is the real deal: he's created a full spectrum of Californian characters who are ludicrous and ill-behaved and lovable in equal measure; he's a major-league prose writer who has fun in every sentence without ever showing off or hitting a phony note; and you want to keep reading him for the pure pleasure of his company."
-- Jonathan Franzen, author of The Corrections

"In an imaginative and eminently readable debut, Emmons binds together a roster of strangers in a weirdly likable tale of the supernatural. In a very fanciful way, Emmons lovingly carves very believable people out of the mists of California and displays them amidst the cacophony of their lives. A sparkling and witty debut."
-- Kirkus Reviews, starred