May 10, 2024

Michael Clune is the author of the recently reissued memoir WHITE OUT, which The New Yorker called “dreamily exact…sensual and hilarious…one of the year’s best books.”  PAN is his first novel, centered on Nick, a weirdly brilliant teenager, who is kicked out of his Russian-born mother’s house for reasons he is not told and goes to live with his father in a low-grade apartment development optimistically called Chariot Courts.  And then, quite unexpectedly, panic and anxiety enter Nick’s life.  What brings some solace is his old paperback copy of IVANHOE and the work of Oscar Wilde, which he discovers by chance at the library when he’s researching anxiety panic disorders. The book is set in a northern suburb of Chicago in the mid-90s. It’s funny, sad, deeply moving, and timeless, joining the pantheon of literary coming-of-age novels alongside Paul Murray’s SKIPPY DIES and Douglas Stuart’s SHUGGIE BAIN.