Richard Chiem with Rich Smith
Seattle writer Richard Chiem celebrates publication of his debut novel, the arresting King of Joy (Soft Skull Press) here this evening. A remarkable debut this is, following his well-received first book of stories, You Private Person. It’s cited by The Millions as one of the most anticipated books of the year, and Nylon as one of “50 Books You’ll Want to Read This Year.”
"This experimental literary novel is the right amount of both dreamy and dark . . . Lush, packed with jarring details, and surprisingly tender . . . A delicious, demonic novel that fades through adjacent, looping worlds in the magical early 2000s. Chiem evokes a lost decade and suggests the shape of the monsters that churned beneath its surface." ―Foreword Reviews.
“Richard Chiem’s wonderful new novel explores the intersections of sex and survival, sadness and friendship, making art and discovering love, short-circuiting expectations at every juncture. Casually surreal and utterly spellbinding, King of Joy is a deeply moving story about our quests for various forms of oblivion.” ―Jeff Jackson.
Richard Chiem appears in conversation with Rich Smith, whose writing on books, politics and performance appears in The Stranger.