Leaving the Atocha Station

Ben Lerner


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Granta Publications Ltd
17 August 2023
ISBN: 9781803510040
192 pages

From the publisher

'The sharpest and funniest novel I read this year' Craig Brown, Mail on Sunday

A hilarious, intelligent cult classic, from one of the most celebrated contemporary novelists.

Adam Gordon is a brilliant, if highly unreliable, young American poet on a prestigious fellowship in Madrid. Fuelled by strong coffee and self-prescribed tranquillizers, every day is a fresh attempt to establish a sense of self and an attitude towards his art. Not helped by his imperfect grasp of Spanish, Adam struggles with the underlying suspicion that his relationships, his reactions, even his entire personality are just as fraudulent as his poetry. Yet while his self-obsession runs riot he is at risk of missing the bigger and more urgent things that threaten to change the world around him in sudden and dramatic ways.

One of the funniest and best-loved debut novels of contemporary times, Leaving the Atocha Station is a profound exploration of the creative impulse.

'Packed full of gags... Intensely and unusually brilliant' Geoff Dyer, Observer