Virtual Event: Gene Kwak in conversation with Michael Bible for GO HOME, RICKY!

Tuesday, October 26, 2021 - 6:00pm

From a rising literary star comes a fresh, satirical novel about masculinity and tenderness, fatherhood and motherhood, set in the world of semi-professional wrestling

Debut Author Event ·  Gene Kwak in conversation with Michael Bible live on Zoom, Tuesday, October 26th in celebration of Kwak's buzzy debut novel Go Home, Ricky! · 

This event is free to attend but registration is required. Click here to RSVP.

After seven years on the semi-pro wrestling circuit, Ricky Twohatchet, a.k.a. Richard Powell, needs one last match before he gets called up to the big leagues. Unlike some wrestlers who only play the stereotype, Ricky believes he comes by his persona honestly--he's half white and half Native American--even if he's never met his father. But the night of the match in Omaha, Nebraska, something askew in their intricate choreography sets him on a course for disaster. He finishes with a neck injury that leaves him in a restrictive brace and a video already going viral: him spewing profanities at his ex-partner, Johnny America. Injury aside, he's out of the league.

Without a routine or identity, Ricky spirals downward, finally setting off to learn about his father, and what he finds will explode everything he knows about who he is--as a man, a friend, a son, a partner, and a wrestler. Go Home, Ricky! is a sometimes-witty, sometimes-heart-wrenching, but always gripping look into the complexities of identity.


About the Author

Gene Kwak is the author of two chapbooks, Orphans Burning Orphans (Greying Ghost Press) and a self-titled collection available from Awst Press. He has published fiction and nonfiction both in print and online in the Los Angeles Review of BooksThe RumpusWigleafPaper DartsRedividerHobartElectric Literature, and in the flash anthology Forward: 21st Century Flash Fiction. In 2020, he will attend the Ragdale Residency and has attended residencies at Tin House and Yale. He teaches English and creative writing at the University of Nebraska, Omaha. He was a semi-finalist for the George Bennett Fellowship. Go Home, Ricky! is his debut novel.

About the Host

Michael Bible is the author of the novels SOPHIA, EMPIRE OF LIGHT, and THE ANCIENT HOURS. He's a former bookseller at Square Books and a graduate of the Ole Miss MFA program. He lives in New York City.

Praise for...

"As a prose stylist, Kwak is impeccable. Every sentence is explosive, energetic, confident and hyper-polished, as if meant to be shouted proudly in a stadium of thousands. Readers might be surprised to find, in Ricky Twohatchet, an enduring voice." 
 — Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

Go Home, Ricky! takes on the urgent themes of today— identity, belonging, economic precarity —with an almost throwback commitment to the exhilarations of voice, of language. This pile driver of a novel is original, deeply funny, and moving. Gene Kwak revels in the contradictions and nuances of life, because that’s where wisdom comes from, as well as the best fiction.”      
 — Sam Lipsyte

Go Home, Ricky! is a rambunctious and constantly surprising novel about wrestling, absent fathers and father figures, and the personas we’ll wear on the way to figuring out who we really are. Kwak’s sly, big-hearted novel resists easy answers, making Ricky’s odyssey all the more satisfying and true.”                                                 
— Gabe Habash

“It's impossible not to root for underdog wrestler Ricky Twohatchet, a scrappy, good-natured bigmouth with very bad luck. Bleak, funny, and bittersweet, Go Home Ricky! is about finding your people and finding your place in the world. Gene Kwak’s playful, adroit prose is as offbeat as it is heartfelt—this is an unforgettable debut.”
— Kimberly King Parsons

“Gene Kwak is an enormously talented young writer who has a way of untangling race and masculinity with a lot more humor and originality than any of his contemporaries. Go Home, Ricky! has stayed with me. I can’t forget its rhythm and energy.”  
— Catherine Lacey

“Gene Kwak writes with a head-spinning musicality and depth of spirit that cannot be denied. Each sentence sparkles like a gemstone just cracked open, rewarding the attentive ear with ecstatic nuance, vibrant rhythm, a way of seeing and speaking you can come to through no one else but him. Pull out any line from Go Home, Ricky! and you will find immediate evidence of a new classic culled deep from the heart of America, with no holds barred style to spare. In no small terms, Kwak is a must.”   
— Blake Butler

“Gene Kwak is a force to be reckoned with. I'm astonished by the way he poses questions of masculinity and racial identity with such a deftness that they appear both subtle and urgent at once. I cannot wait for this novel to find its readers.”    
— Jac Jemc

Event address: 

Zoom Webinar
Go Home, Ricky!: A Novel Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781419753619
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harry N. Abrams - October 19th, 2021