Forthcoming, February 2014
From LSU Press (Yellow Shoe Fiction): "The End of the Book is the story of an aspiring contemporary novelist who may or may not be writing a sequel to a forgotten classic, Sherwood Anderson's Winesburg, Ohio. Adam Clary works in Chicago for a famous Internet company on a massive project to digitize the world’s books, but secretly he hates his job and wishes to be a writer at a time when the book as physical object and book culture itself have never been more threatened. He is the son of a dissipated Anderson scholar, thus his obsession with Winesburg.
Counterpointing Adam’s story is that of George Willard, the young protagonist of Anderson’s book, who arrives in Chicago around 1900 when it was the fastest growing city in the history of the world. Through alternating chapters, we follow George’s travails, including his marriage to the wealthy daughter of his boss, his affair with his hometown sweetheart, his artistic crisis, breakdown and flight, and along the way we see the echoes and intersections between his life and Adam’s struggling in two similar Americas, two similar times in the life of the book."
Advance Praise for The End of the Book:
"Porter Shreve’s The End of the Book is audacious, affecting and elegiac, a terrific novel about a century of American letters that hums with the artist's deep desire to last." — Jess Walter, author of Beautiful Ruins and The Financial Lives of the Poets
"Chicago, present and past, Winesburg, Ohio, past and present--two of my favorite places. Porter Shreve’s novel, The End of the Book, had me from the very start of the story and never let go. The way that form, which begins as counterpoint, gradually becomes the conflation of time is touching and beautiful in the way that it is effortlessly accomplished." — Stuart Dybek, author of I Sailed With Magellan and The Coast of Chicago
"Shreve's homage, like Michael Cunningham's of Virginia Woolf in The Hours, both pays tribute to a master storyteller while enacting a completely satisfying and original and engaging novel in its own right. A distinctive and seductive book that deftly melds author/character/writer/reader." — Antonya Nelson, author of Bound and Nothing Right
"Sherwood Anderson’s George Willard shimmers back to life in The End of the Book, an artfully plotted evocation of Chicago in two centuries, and two aspiring writers deadened by commerce until—for each—an old love appears to reignite their best and earliest dreams. Porter Shreve delivers a richly layered hat-tip to Anderson’s impact on American letters, and a highly rewarding story at every turn." — Paula McLain, author of The Paris Wife
"Porter Shreve's The End of the Book is a remarkable novel about the huge promises fathers and sons, writers and readers, books and characters, make to each other, and how we break those promises, and how still we keep hoping not to break them, or break them again, or break them completely... Shreve has written some terrific books, but this is his best yet." — Brock Clarke, author of Exley and An Arsonist's Guide to Writers' Homes in New England