Odd-job queen Starshine Hart is about to go on somebody else’s perfect date. At 29, the usually carefree Starshine has realized that it is easier to start sleeping with a man than to stop. Her lovers include one of the last underground members of the Weathermen, and the dilettante heir to a lawn chair magnate. Both men have staked their romantic future on her. Her only respite is her impending dinner with the non-threatening but unattractive tour guide Larry Bloom. But Larry, too, has a stake in her future. He has written a book about their impending dinner in which he fantasizes about Starshine’s life on the day he wins her heart.
Jacob M. Appel’s “The Biology of Luck” (Elephant Rock Books) juxtaposes moments from Larry’s guided tour of New York City on the June day of his “dream date,” with excerpts from the novel in which he imagines Starshine’s concurrent escapades. This inventive novel-within-a-novel structure weaves a highly imaginative love story across New York’s five boroughs. Provocative, funny and keenly observed, Appel’s imagined pilgrimage through the underbelly of Gotham establishes him as a bold new voice in contemporary American fiction.
According to Brooklyn Eagle, the author will appear in Brooklyn on Oct. 17 at Greenpoint’s WORD Bookstore as part of an Indie Press Night. Joining Elephant Rock Books will be Akashic Books, Black Balloon Press, and C&R Press. The authors involved cover a diverse range of recent publications, from fiction, poetry, an illustrated novel, and a historical novel. The event will begin at 7 p.m. WORD is located at 126 Franklin St. in Greenpoint.
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A writer with more than 200 publication credits, a licensed New York City sightseeing guide, and scholar with multiple degrees in the fields of writing, philosophy, medicine and law, Jacob Appel is something of a modern day renaissance man. His first novel, “The Man Who Wouldn’t Stand Up,” won the Dundee International Book Prize U.K. He’s won the Tobias Wolff Award, the Kurt Vonnegut Prize, the Zarkower Award for Excellence in Playwriting, and others. Appel’s articles have appeared in The New York Times, Boston Globe, Huffington Post and elsewhere. He is currently a practicing psychiatrist at The Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, where he resides. “The Biology of Luck” marks his U.S. book publishing debut. Read his unabridged story at jacobmappel.com.