Loudermilk: Or, the Real Poet; Or, the Origin of the World (Paperback)
One of my favorite novels of 2019. Lucy Ives plumbs philosophical questions of authenticity, creativity, and fellowship with equal amounts of profundity and irreverence. Anybody who has ever winced through a creative writing workshop will find much to laugh about. — From Sam's Picks
May 2019 Indie Next List
“Lucy Ives has created something special in Loudermilk. The early 2000s setting is unmistakable, and while all the characters are both familiar (in all the right ways) and written with at least some degree of love, none are spared by Ives’ razor-sharp satire. Unlike so many other satirical novels, Loudermilk is nuanced and feels like it has something to say, rather than just skewering for the sake of skewering. And it’s consistently laugh-out-loud funny throughout.”
— Lane Jacobson, Paulina Springs Books, Sisters, OR
This New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice, is hilarious . . . a riotous success. Equal parts campus novel, buddy comedy and meditation on art-making under late capitalism, the novel is a hugely funny portrait of an egomaniac and his nebbish best friend (The Washington Post). It's the end of summer 2003. George W. Bush has recently declared the mission in Iraq accomplished, the unemployment rate is at its highest in years, and Martha Stewart has just been indicted for insider trading. Meanwhile, somewhere in the Midwest, Troy Augustus Loudermilk (fair-haired, statuesque, charismatic) and his companion Harry Rego (definitely none of those things) step out of a silver Land Cruiser and onto the campus of The Seminars, America's most prestigious creative writing program, to which Loudermilk has recently been accepted for his excellence in poetry. Loudermilk, however, has never written a poem in his life. Wickedly entertaining, beguiling, layered, and sly, Loudermilk is a social novel for our time: a comedy of errors that deftly examines class, gender, and inheritance, and subverts our pieties about literature, authorship, art making, and the institutions that sustain them.
About the Author
Lucy Ives is the author of the novel Loudermilk and Impossible Views of the World, which was selected as a New York Times Editors' Choice, and the collection of stories, Cosmogony. Her writing has appeared in Art in America, Artforum, The Baffler, Frieze, Lapham's Quarterly, and Vogue, among other publications. For five years she was an editor with the online magazine Triple Canopy. A graduate of Harvard and the Iowa Writers' Workshop, she holds a Ph.D. in comparative literature from New York University.