Leaving the Atocha Station

By Ben Lerner


From a National Book Award finalist, this ironic first novel captures the angst of the young American abroad.

Year of Publication


<br>Finalist for the 2011 "Los Angeles Times" Book Prize (Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction)<br>Finalist for The New York Public Library's 2012 Young Lions Fiction Award<br>Finalist for "The Believer" Book Award <br>"Wall Street Journal's" Top 10 Fiction of 2011<br>"The New Yorker's" Best of the Year in Culture 2011<br>"Newsweek/Daily Beast's" Best of 2011<br>"The Boston Globe's" Best of 2011<br>"The Guardian's" Best Books of 2011<br>"Shelf Unbound's" Top Ten of 2011<br>"New Stateman's" Best Books of 2011 <br>"[A] subtle, sinuous, and very funny first novel. . . . ["Leaving the Atocha Station"] has a beguiling mixture of lightness and weight. There are wonderful sentences and jokes on almost every page. Lerner is attempting to capture something that most conventional novels, with their cumbersome caravans of plot and scene and "conflict," fail to do: the drift of thought, the unmomentous passage of undramatic life. . . ."--James Wood, "The New Yorker" <br>"Ben Lerner's remarkable first novel . . . is a bildungsroman and meditation and slacker tale fused by a precise, reflective and darkly comic voice. It is also a revealing study of what it's like to be a young American abroad . . . Lerner is concerned with ineffability, but Adam Gordon (and the author) fight back with more than words . . . The ultimate product of Gordon's success is the novel itself." -Gary Sernovitz, "The New York Times Book Review" <br>"One of the funniest (and truest) novels I know of by a writer of his generation. . . . [A] dazzlingly good novel."--Lorin Stein, "The New York Review of Books" <br>"Flip, hip, smart, and very funny . . . [R]eading it was unlike any other novel-reading experience I've had for a long time." --Maureen Corrigan, NPR's "Fresh Air with Terry Gross" <br>"["Leaving the Atocha Station" is] hilarious and cracklingly intelligent, fully alive and original in every sentence, and abuzz with the feel of our late-late-modern moment. . . . --Jonathan Franzen

Author Biography

Born in Kansas in 1979, BEN LERNER is the author of three books of poetry, The Lichtenberg Figures, Angle of Yaw, and Mean Free Path. He has been a finalist for the National Book Award and the North California Book Award, a Fulbright Scholar in Spain, and the recipient of a Howard Foundation Fellowship. In 2011 he became the first American to win the Munster State Prize for International Poetry. He teaches in the writing program at Brooklyn College. Leaving the Atocha Station is his first novel.