Chinese Takeout: A Novel (Paperback)
From the author of the cult classic The Fuck-Up comes a vicious new tale of art, drugs, love, and death on the Lower East Side.
Orloff Trenchant is a painter who sells books on West 4th Street in Manhattan and is obsessed with mastering his craft. Desperate for cash, Or agrees to take a commission no one else will touch: he has three weeks to carve a headstone for a recently deceased restaurateur -- a Chinese takeout box. As Or attempts to make his deadline, he navigates among a toxic mix of fellow artists, struggling gallery owners, bloodsucking art dealers, his politically active friends, and a haunting addict poet whose life is more out of control than Or's own.
Nersesian's prose is sparkling and hypnotic in this brutal and comic story that will make you wonder if life and art are two different things.
About the Author
Arthur Nersesian’s other novels include The Fuck-Up, Manhattan Loverboy, Dogrun, and Suicide Casanova. He has also written three books of poems and one book of plays. Nersesian was the managing editor of the literary magazine "The Portable Lower East Side" and was an English teacher at Hostos Community College (C.U.N.Y.) in the South Bronx. He was born and raised in New York City.
“Magnificent…Nersesian’s story…won’t leave you hungry...Nersesian is this generation’s Mark Twain.” — Jennifer Belle, author of Going Down and High Maintenance
“Not since Henry Miller has a writer so successfully captured the…tribulations of a struggling artist.…A masterly image.” — Library Journal (starred review)
“A definite achievement... Confirms Nersesian’s literary artistry. His edgy exploration...is hard to put down.” — Booklist
“Thoroughly validates Nersesian’s rep as one of the wittiest and most perceptive chroniclers of downtown life.” — Time Out New York
“One of the best books...about the artist’s life. …A compelling read.” — Village Voice
“Nersesian’s feel for the maneuvering of the city...is what makes his city stories so wholly engrossing.” — Philadelphia City Paper
“[Nersesian] has a talent for dark comedy and witty dialgoue…Woven throughout…are gems of observational brilliance…A vivid tour.” — American Book Review
“A witty tour through the lowest depths of high art.…A fast paced portrait of…la vie boheme.” — Kirkus Reviews
“A heartfelt, tragicomic bohemian romance.…The hip squalor…takes on a mythic charge that energizes Nersesian’s lyrical celebriation.” — Publishers Weekly