Alistair McCartney, affiliate faculty member in the Undergraduate Studies and MFA in Creative Writing programs, released his second book The Disintegrations: A Novel on August 22, 2017, with University of Wisconsin Press. The Disintegrations is a cross-genre novel about a man obsessed with death and trying to get to the bottom of it.
“I worked on the book for eight or nine years, so I’m thrilled about its release,” said McCartney.” The novel is in part a fictional investigation into Culver City’s Holy Cross Cemetery, which of course lies directly across the street from Antioch.”
In The Disintegrations, McCartney recounts his lifelong obsession with death. Detached from life in Los Angeles and his past in Australia, uncomfortable around other humans, he researches death on the Internet; mulls over distant and intimate stories of suicides, serial killers, and “natural deaths”; and wanders about LA’s Holy Cross Cemetery. He’s looking for answers, all the while formulating his own disquieting philosophies. This enigmatic novel blurs the line between fiction and nonfiction, story and eulogy, poetry and obituary. The Disintegrations confronts both the impossibility of understanding death and the timeless longing for immortality.
Australian author Christos Tsiolkas describes the book as one “…that takes possession of you right from the opening and will not let you go. Challenging and gripping, a rumination on death and memory that speaks eloquently to our sense of loss, both personal and communal. The writing is exquisite. I know this book will haunt me for the longest time.” An advance review from Kirkus describes it as “Outre and disturbingly engaging.”
The launch event for the book will take place Saturday, September 16th at 5:00 p.m. at Skylight Bookstore located at 1818 N Vermont Ave, Los Angeles, California 90027. McCartney will read from the book and then have a conversation with David Francis, writer and vice-president of PEN Center USA. McCartney’s first novel, The End of the World Book, was a finalist for the PEN USA Literary Award in Fiction.