MacArthur Park
Fiction | $15.95
paperback, 304 pages, 5 1/4 x 8 1/4"
Publication Date: forthcoming
ISBN: 978-1-937658-69-4

Andrew Durbin’s debut novel asks what it means to belong to a place, an idea, and a time, even as those things begin to slip away

After Hurricane Sandy, Nick Fowler, a writer, stranded alone in a Manhattan apartment without power, begins to contemplate disaster. Months later, at an artist residency in upstate New York, Nick finds his subject in disaster itself and the communities shaped by it, where crisis animates both hope and denial, unacknowledged pasts and potential futures. As he travels to Los Angeles and London on assignment, Nick discovers that outsiders—their lives and histories disturbed by sex, loss, and bad weather—are often better understood by what they have hidden from the world than what they have revealed.

Andrew Durbin’s MacArthur Park flows and revels in the contemporary current. It’s wry, dramatic, cool, knowing, funny, sobering, a novel of unsparing consciousness that spars with the news and effects of uncontrollable weather. Durbin registers the temperature of our nights and days, with perfect pitch conversations and commentaries on pop culture, utopian collectives, the art world, politics, sex, emotions. He tracks the wanderings of Nick, his protagonist, who flees Hurricane Sandy; a stormy love affair; a troubled art community, and runs from Tom of Finland phallic fetishism in LA. Everywhere, Nick acutely observes the natural world of startling sunsets and lush landscapes, and always smells the coffee. Andrew Durbin’s first novel is as surprising as it is tender. It’s a beautiful work. Lynne Tillman

Andrew Durbin gives us all the information we will need to make it in the precarious margins of the art world: parables of love and drugs, evidence of the impending apocalypse, and play-by-plays of the cocktail and conference banter of the powerful. MacArthur Park is a mirror; it shines—knowingly, darkly—with the indelible indecisions of the early 21st century. Lucy Ives


One of the few younger writers brazen enough to take up Gary Indiana’s velvet-lined gauntlet, Andrew Durbin steals from the master’s toolbox only to construct something entirely his own, personal or, rather, “personal.” Shedding poetry at just the right moment, he understands that the Weather Channel now delivers the news that stays news. The most fraught meteorology occurs when those fronts called the intellect and the heart collide. Bruce Hainley

Andrew Durbin is an attentive and astute observer of all things related to climate change, which in MacArthur Park is reimagined as a doomsday phenomenology of Weather—the weather of self, of landscape, of global capital. “My book could be about the weather when you’re hungover. Or when you’re drunk,” his narrator, an aspiring writer named Nick, muses. “I wanted to write about what the weather made people do—and the weather of what people did. Weather as politics. Weather as history.” MacArthur Park, a cultural almanac, crosshatches social and ecological disaster; examines art and art utopias. The novel is a prismatic exegesis on the tenacity and mystery of belief systems in the midst of constant breakage, flux, and storm. In a castaway present, everything is weather and Durbin is measuring the tides. 

Masha Tupitsyn