2014 fiction finalist

Eric Lundgren | The Facades

Eric LundgrenAbout the author
Eric Lundgren grew up in Minneapolis, Minnesota. After getting a bachelor's degree from Lewis & Clark College, he attended Washington University in St. Louis, where he earned an MFA in the Writing Program. His fiction has won an AWP Intro Journals Award, with other work appearing in Tin House, Quarterly West, Hayden's Ferry Review, The Millions, and elsewhere. He lives in St. Louis, Missouri, where he works at a public library and teaches fiction writing to non-traditional students.

About the book
One night in the once-great Midwestern city of Trude, a celebrated mezzo-soprano vanishes during rehearsal at the opera house. When the police come up empty-handed, the singer's husband, a disconsolate legal clerk named Sven Norberg, must take up the quest on his own. But to discover the secret of his wife's disappearance, Norberg must descend into Trude's underworld and confront the citizens of his hometown: rebellious librarians, shifty music critics, a cop called the Oracle, and the minister of an apocalyptic church who has recruited Norberg's son. Faced with the loss of everything he loves, Norberg follows his investigation to the heart of the city and through the buildings of a possibly insane modernist architect, whose elaborate vision will offer Norberg an astonishing revelation. The Facades is a comic and existential mystery that unfolds at the pace of a thriller.
Critics / Reviews
"Harrowing and hilarious . . . This is a detective novel that owes as much to Haruki Murakami and Italo Calvino as to John D. MacDonald and James M. Cain."  — Jon Michaud, The New Yorker
"Delightful . . . Eric Lundgren's eccentric, droll and immensely charming little novel had me by its second page . . . This is Lemony Snicket for grown-ups."  — Laura Miller, Salon
"A fierce, funny examination of loss, set against one of the most creative worlds in recent memory, and it's not to be missed."
Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"Fascinating, painfully funny, darkly surrealistic, deeply allusive . . . The Facades is a fine first novel by a very promising young writer."  — Harper Barnes, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
"Lundgren's conception of Trude is fully on a level with work done by such experts of this stripe as Jonathan Lethem, Charles Finney and Mark Helprin . . . calls out for Coen Brothers treatment all the way."  — Paul Di Filippo, Locus