We’re pleased to reveal the cover for Lev Grossman’s Warp! Originally published in 1997, this re-publication of Grossman’s debut novel shows the roots of his Magicians hero Quentin Coldwater in a book that is for anyone (and everyone) who has ever felt adrift in their own life—available September 20th from St. Martin’s Press. Check out the full cover below, and preview the new preface about how and why Grossman wrote his first novel: “It is the intense, concentrated, boiled-down essence of the unhappiest years of my life.”
From the catalog copy:
Twenty-something Hollis Kessler languishes in a hopelessly magician-less world (with the exception of a fleet-footed nymph named Xanthe) not too far from where he graduated college. His friends do, too. They sleep late, read too much, drink too much, talk too much, and work and earn and do way too little. But Hollis does have an obsession: there’s another world going on in his head, a world of excitement and danger and starships and romance, and it’s telling him that it’s time to stop dreaming and get serious. Lev Grossman has written a lucid and immediate novel of what and where a twenty-something’s mind is when it isn’t even made up yet.
I wrote my first novel, Warp, over a period of about five years, 1992 to 1996, in a series of increasingly tiny, dingy, cheap apart- ments full of roaches and non-right angles and off-brand minia-ture kitchen appliances, first in and around Boston, then in New Haven, and then in New York City.
I remember each of these apartments in encyclopedic and totally unnecessary detail. A dark-wood studio, perfectly cubical, in an old building that still had a cage elevator; the second floor of a listing clapboard house where I stuffed pillows into the heating vents to try to muffle the neighbor’s TV, and which contained the last non-ironic black-and-white TV I ever watched; a cell in a hospital that had been repurposed as dystopian graduate student housing.
In each of these apartments I wrote and rewrote and rewrote Warp, working at a desk made of an old door propped up on two trestles, on a chunky beige Mac Classic with a tiny monochrome screen like an oscilloscope. Five years is a long time to spend on a novel as short as this one, but I wasn’t messing around. I worked on Warp constantly, whenever I could, usually every day, jobs and classes permitting. It is the intense, concentrated, boiled-down essence of the unhappiest years of my life.