The Red Arrow
William Brewer — 2022
A brilliant, utterly contemporary debut novel about a ghostwriter in search of his subject—a famous physicist who has vanished—only to discover their lives align perfectly within the riddles of time and space. When a once-promising young writer agrees to ghostwrite a famous physicist’s memoir, his livelihood is already in jeopardy: plagued by debt, he’s grown distant from his wife—a successful A.I. designer—and is haunted by an overwhelming dread he describes as “The Mist.” Then, things get worse: the physicist disappears, leaving everything in limbo, including our narrator’s sanity. Desperate for relief, he undergoes an experimental, psychedelic treatment and emerges to find his world transformed: joy suffuses every moment. His opportunities are endless. For the first time, he understands himself in a larger, universal context and feels he might finally know how to reclaim his past and future alike. Moving swiftly across time and geography—from a chemical spill in West Virginia, to psychedelic therapy in California, to a frecciarossa racing across the Italian countryside—The Red Arrow is a spiraling, spellbinding, and often comedic journey through art, memory, and the contradicting layers that compose the self.