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January 20, 2017

Book Notes - Henry Hoke "The Book of Endless Sleepovers"

The Book of Endless Sleepovers

In the Book Notes series, authors create and discuss a music playlist that relates in some way to their recently published book.

Previous contributors include Bret Easton Ellis, Kate Christensen, Lauren Groff, T.C. Boyle, Dana Spiotta, Amy Bloom, Aimee Bender, Jesmyn Ward, Heidi Julavits, Hari Kunzru, and many others.

Henry Hoke's The Book of Endless Sleepovers compelling, lyrical, and innovatively told.

Maggie Nelson wrote of the book:

"I love how Henry Hoke plays fast and loose with autobiography and genre. The Book of Endless Sleepovers is wry and finely-wrought, a philosophical fever dream studded with the pleasure of proper names and surprising turns of phrase, a lyric page-turner."

In his own words, here is Henry Hoke's Book Notes music playlist for his book The Book of Endless Sleepovers:

Thanks for coming to my sleepover. It's a basement full of nostalgia and longing, a nonstop party for shape shifters. Here's the playlist. Let's stay up all night.

"Take Ecstasy with Me" by The Magnetic Fields
This is the only way to kick things off. The Book of Endless Sleepovers orbits around two boys, Tom and Huck, who may be real or fictional but are certainly in some kind of love.

"Dim all the Lights" by Donna Summer
Every good slumber party has a disco moment.

"Why" by Annie Lennox
The parents get divorced over and over again in my book. This is divorce jam #1. New houses outside of town and visitation car rides to get there.

"Clearing" by Grouper
A piano, heard through a wall. Muffled voices. The old house.

"Would I Lie to You?" by Charles & Eddie
Deception is the heart of my work. Autobiography masquerading as fiction, pre-existing characters transformed by poetry. A life in lies.

"The World is as Soft as Lace" by Felt
This one's for my brother, who I pay tribute to with all these fictional brothers.

"Forrest Gump" by Frank Ocean
More boys in love, getting older, diluting their masculinity, becoming cheerleaders for one another.

"Apart" by Balam Acab
The song of the Banshee Whale: an elusive, potentially voiceless beast.

"I Turned into a Martian" by The Misfits
An anthem for the punk camp counselors of my youth. I was shaped by their music and then I joined their ranks.

"Red Light Special" by TLC
One of my stories is a late night TV ad for an escort service. This is playing in the background.

"A Few Hours after This…" by The Cure
There's an army of Exploding Henry Hoke Dolls inside the book. The soundtrack to their detonation.

"Stolen Dog" by Burial
This is a song for my characters as they move from the kudzu of the country to the scaffolding of the city, still haunted by the green.

"Sparring Minds" by GZA
The Glacial Fist in my penultimate story was inspired in part by the Wu Clan. This clash between Genius and Inspectah Deck is one of their sharpest.

"Really Rosie" by Carole King
Maurice Sendak is the patron saint of The Book of Endless Sleepovers. I still don't know how to be a grownup, but Rosie's version of one makes the most sense. Believe me.

Henry Hoke and The Book of Endless Sleepovers links:

the author's website
excerpt from the book

CCM interview with the author
Collagist interview with the author

also at Largehearted Boy:

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List of Online "Best Books of 2016" Lists

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