Though he's held jobs from movie theater doorman to janitor to screenwriter, George Hagen seems to have successfully landed as a novelist. With his debut, The Laments, he delivers a poignant portrait of a unique "Everyfamily" that's both touching and tragic, but most of all, rings true for readers.
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George Hagen at Barnes & Noble.
Brooklyn, New York
Date of Birth:
April 18, 1958
Place of Birth:
|Hagen's First Fiction|
"In The Laments, Hagen depicts an eccentric clan that is both resilient and oddly triumphant despite hardship and heartache, and creates unforgettable characters, both heroic and universal," rave our editors. And The New York Times comments, "Mr. Hagen has shaped an affectionate family portrait in which the characters come vividly to life, no matter how adrift they may be.... Each of them sees new opportunity eternally on the horizon in ways that have the potential to make this a story of crushing disappointment. But Mr. Hagen somehow endows it with brightness and finds a universality here, too."
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|A Prudent Change of Plans|
|"I started out of college struggling to finish the film I directed at NYU," Hagen recalls in our exclusive interview. "I needed several thousand dollars to complete the film, so I worked two shifts at two different law firms as a text editor. I spent about six months working 16-hour days in order to raise the money. Though the film won prizes in festivals, the experience of being in debt for more money than I had ever seen in my life made writing seem more appealing than filmmaking. All I needed was a typewriter and paper.” |
|Hagen's Reading Recommendations|
We asked Hagen to tell us about some of his favorite books. He calls this novel from the author of The Commitments "one of the funniest books I’ve ever read, but it is also an unpredictable, unapologetic depiction of working-class life, conveyed almost entirely through dialogue."
|The World According to Garp|
Hagen also names John Irving's classic The World According to Garp as a favorite, calling it "probably the most influential book for me after college because of its blend of tragedy and humor." Read our interview to learn more about Hagen's favorite books, including: