Wednesday, February 25, 7:30 PM
Mark Doten presents The Infernal
In conversation with Justin Taylor
In Mark Doten’s highly anticipated debut novel The Infernal, a severely burned boy appears in the desert in the early years of the Iraq war. Who is he? Where did he come from? And, crucially, what does he know? In pursuit of that information, an interrogator is summoned from his prison cell, and a hideous and forgotten apparatus of torture, which extracts “perfect confessions,” is retrieved from the vaults. Over the course of four days, a cavalcade of voices rises up from the boy, each one striving to tell his or her own story; each has a role in the world shaped by the War on Terror. The novel has been praised by fellow authors including Molly Antopol, Sam Lipsyte, Ben Marcus, and Justin Taylor, who writes “Mark Doten is a tremendous and protean talent. The Infernal—monstrous and resplendent—is an essential novel of the War on Terror, which Doten renders plainly as the cacophonous self-made Hell that it plainly is. His demonic vision reveals crucial and damning truths.” Doten speaks with Taylor at Greenlight about his work at Greenlight.