Jacob Shamsian
September 03, 2014 AT 04:00 AM EDT

The unnamed narrator of Lerner’s second novel, much like Lerner himself, is the toast of literary New York. The glowing reviews for his first book and a short story in The New Yorker lead to a huge advance for his second tome. To keep the momentum going, his agent suggests that he write it for a wider audience. However, the real Lerner (Leaving the Atocha Station) shuns commercialism for a funny, deeply observational metafictional romp. A

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