with black-and-white illustrations by Cody Hudson and photographs by Todd Baxter
Chicago-based author and longtime indie-bookseller-favorite Joe Meno is back with his latest novel, a short and sweet story set in Chicago, circa winter 1999. I loved it.
He's heading off on a nationwide tour starting at Chicago's Printers Row lit fest and a book launch at the Book Cellar in Lincoln Square on June 28.
From the book's site, a capsule description:
NO ONE DIES IN OFFICE GIRL. Nobody talks about the international political situation. There is no mention of any economic collapse. Nothing takes place during a World War.
INSTEAD, THIS NOVEL IS ABOUT YOUNG PEOPLE doing interesting things in the final moments of the last century. Odile is a lovely twenty-three-year-old art-school dropout, a minor vandal, and a hopeless dreamer. Jack is a twenty-five-year-old shirker who's most happy capturing the endless noises of the city on his out-of-date tape recorder. Together they decide to start their own art movement in defiance of a contemporary culture made dull by both the tedious and the obvious. Set in February 1999--just before the end of one world and the beginning of another--Office Girl is the story of two people caught between the uncertainty of their futures and the all-too-brief moments of modern life.
"Fresh and sharply observed, Office Girl is a love story on bicycles, capturing the beauty of individual moments and the magic hidden in everyday objects and people. Joe Meno will make you stop and notice the world. And he will make you wonder."
--Hannah Tinti, author of The Good Thief
"Meno has constructed a snowflake-delicate inquiry into alienation and longing. Illustrated with drawings and photographs and shaped by tender empathy, buoyant imagination, and bittersweet wit, this wistful, provocative, off-kilter love story affirms the bonds forged by art and story."
--Booklist (*starred review*)
"The talented Chicago-based Meno has composed a gorgeous little indie romance, circa 1999...When get weird as things do when we're young, Meno is refreshingly honest in portraying lowest lows and not just the innocent highs. A sweetheart of a novel, complete with a hazy ending."
"High on quirk and hipster cred."
--Publishers Weekly (Pick of the Week)