ICA: The suiciders, Travis Jeppesen

The suiciders, Travis Jeppesen, 2013

In an endurance-based explosion of the typical ‘literary reading’,  Jeppesen will perform the entire text of his new novel The Suiciders in a single marathon reading for the London launch.

In Travis Jeppesen’s new novel, a group of friends occupies an indeterminate house in an unidentified American suburb and replays a continuous loop of eternal exile and youth. Permanently in their late teens, the seven young men are fluid and mutable ciphers, although endowed with highly reflexive, and wholly generic, internal lives.

“Once you learn how to love, you will also learn how to mutilate it . . . I want to feel so free you can’t even imagine . . . Let’s get out there and eat some popsicles. There is work to be done'”. Eventually, the group decides to remove themselves from the safe confines of the house and to embark upon a road trip to the end of the world with their companion, the Whore, and their pet parrot, Jesus H. Christ. The Suiciders is their legacy.

Chronicling the last days of a religious cult in rural America, Jeppesen’s debut novel Victimswas praised by the Village Voice for its “artfully fractured vision of memory and escape”, and by Punk Planet for its masterful balance of “the laconic speech of teenagers with philosophical density”. In The Suiciders, Jeppesen ventures beyond any notion of fixed identity. The result is a dazzling, perversely accurate portrait of American life in the new century, conveyed as a post-punk nouveau roman.

Saturday 26 October 2013
Institute of Contemporary Arts, London

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