Can the apocalypse be funny? Ashraya Gupta, Bwog’s Blue Notebooks correspondent (and member herself), summarizes novelist Matthew Sharpe’s recent visit to Morningside and reviews his latest, Jamestown.
Not the ex-bassist for Weezer, but Matthew Sharpe, author of the best post-annihilation novel this side of the Book of Revelations—well, maybe.
Matthew Sharpe has the kind of acerbic yet winsome humor you’d expect of someone capable of writing dialog like this:
“Like you’re so happy, Rolfe. Hope you don’t get murdered in your sleep. Good night. Up yours.”
“Where do you think Smith is?”
“Also up yours, I would guess.”
The Rolfe in question would be John Rolfe, the English colonist, who died sometime around 1622. Smith, of course, is John Smith, whom you probably remember from Pocahontas, the Disney movie. Sharpe’s new novel, Jamestown (Soft Skull, 2007), succeeds in all the ways Disney failed: it stays true to the story. At least, as true as you can stay when you’re shifting everything forwards about half a millennium and adding a devastating war between the city-states of Manhattan and Brooklyn.
Last Thursday, during an event sponsored by the Blue Notebooks, Sharpe spoke about the new novel, his process as a writer, and why violence (think lots of arrows, in excruciating places) makes for the best comedy (ditto).
Bethany Rower conducted the interview. After a short introduction from Rower, Sharpe opened by saying, “I’m glad I haven’t been subjected to the new Columbia tradition of being denounced before I speak.” (more…)