Today’s author interview guest is Vince Passaro, author of Crazy Sorrow.
Vince Passaro’s first novel, 2002’s Violence, Nudity, Adult Content, was a provocative book that explored the darkest human emotions and the traumas of mental illness, sexual assault, and murder. Now, nearly twenty years later, Passaro is back with his follow-up, Crazy Sorrow, a novel that is equally explosive and more grand in scope.
The story opens in the shadow of the new World Trade Center, on July 4, 1976, when students George and Anna meet on the weed- and wine-fueled night of the nation’s Bicentennial celebration. George, haunted by his upbringing, instantly falls for the sensual, magnetic Anna. Soon, they couple up, dropping acid, swapping music, exploring the city and each other. Yet their romance is short-lived, and they go their own ways.
Passaro chronicles the next four decades, following George and Anna through their various relationships, their sex lives both youthful and mature, their failed marriages, and the travails of parenthood and their careers. Yet as the years go by one thing remains constant: the former lovers wonder what happened to each other. Finally, miraculously, they reconnect as the new century is beginning, only to discover that history itself will have a say in whether they can stay together.
Crazy Sorrow is an ambitious examination of the forces that draw people together and drive them apart—yet it also expands beyond the points of view of its characters to capture the movement of time and to reveal a living, breathing New York that is both constantly changing and always familiar. Crazy Sorrow stands as Passaro’s powerful love letter to his characters and to the city that has shaped them.
Vince Passaro is the author of the novel Crazy Sorrow. His criticism and essays have appeared in many prominent publications, including Harper’s Magazine, where he is a contributing editor, The Nation, The New York Times Sunday Magazine, The New York Times Book Review, Elle, Salon, and others, along with short fiction in such national magazines and literary journals as Esquire, GQ, Open City, Agni, Story, Boulevard, and Quarterly West. His first novel, Violence, Nudity, Adult Content, was published in 2002. He lives a few miles north of New York City in an old Huguenot town with his wife, son, and a smattering of film cameras, fountain pens, and other fellow-traveling refuse from the mid-20th century.