Will Heller is not exactly your typical sixteen-year-old boy, and Lowboy
is not exactly your typical bildungsroman
. The story begins in New York City, but it doesn't begin by describing the streets, the masses of pedestrian traffic, or the shadows of skyscrapers; it begins in the tunnels beneath it. Will Heller has a penchant for the subway, and his peerless understanding of it has earned him the name "Lowboy." However, his understanding of the world around him - though penetrating and keenly perceptive - is tinged by an unfortunate complication: he's a paranoid schizophrenic. Driven on a quest to save the world, Will believes the world's salvation rests upon his discovery of a willing girl. This girl is the ingenuous Emily Wallace: unaware of his condition, she was his former best friend and only companion before an unfortunate and rather fierce event separated them....
Beyond the Book
About the Author
John Wray was born in Washington D.C in 1971 to an American father and Austrian mother. His first novel, The Right Hand of Sleep
won him a Whiting Writer's Award at age 30, an honor bestowed upon such notables as David Foster Wallace and William Vollmann. His second novel, Canaan's Tongue
, earned him a position on the list of Grant
a's best novelists under 35. In addition to his writing, John Wray was also the front man of Marmalade, a Brooklyn-based pop band that released an album, Beautiful Soup
, in 2003. Wray wrote most of the first draft of Lowboy
while riding back and forth on various NYC subway trains - about five days...