Book Launch: Tadzio Koelb’s Trenton Makes with Vincent Virga

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Book Launch: Tadzio Koelb’s Trenton Makes with Vincent Virga
March 28, 2018 7:00 PM
March 28, 2018 9:00 PM
$5 to 10 suggested donation to benefit the Bureau. No one turned away for lack of funds.
Bureau of General Services—Queer Division
(646) 358-1730
February 23, 2018
Bureau of General Services—Queer Division @ The Center
(646) 358-1730
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208 West 13th Street, Room 210, New York, NY, 10011, United States


Please join Tadzio Koelb, author of TRENTON MAKES for a reading and conversation led by Vincent Virga.
A vivid, brutal, razor-sharp debut about a woman who carves out her share of the American Dream by living as a man.
1946: At the apogee of the American Century, the confidence inspired by victory in World War II has spawned a culture of suffocating conformity in thrall to the cult of masculine privilege.
In the hardscrabble industrial city of Trenton, New Jersey, a woman made strong by wartime factory work kills her army veteran husband in a domestic brawl, disposes of his body, and assumes his identity. As Abe Kunstler, he secures a job in a wire rope factory, buys a car, and successfully woos Inez, an alcoholic dime dancer. He makes a home with her, but for Abe, this is not enough: to complete his transformation, he needs a son.
1971: A very different war is under way. The certainties of mid-century triumphalism are a distant, bitter memory, and Trenton’s heyday as a factory town is long past. As the sign on the famous bridge says, “Trenton Makes, the World Takes.”
The family life Abe has so carefully constructed is crumbling under the intolerable pressures of his long ruse. Desperate to hold on to what he has left, Abe searches for solutions in the dying city.
Written in brilliantly stylized prose, this gripping narrative is a provocative and incisive exploration of the nature of identity, and a disturbing portrait of desperation. Tadzio Koelb has crafted a slim gut shot of a novel that heralds the arrival of a writer of startling talent and imagination.

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TADZIO KOELB is a graduate of the prestigious writing program at the University of East Anglia in the U.K. He has translated André Gide’s work, and is an active reviewer and essayist for a variety of publications that include The New York Times and The Times Literary Supplement. He teaches writing at Rutgers University and lives in Brooklyn, New York.
VINCENT VIRGA is the author of GAYWYCK, the first gay Gothic written to show that genres have no gender. He is the author of several novels and 28 non-fiction books. He is also a picture editor of 163 books, his latest is BOBBY KENNEDY by Chris Matthews.