After a stint teaching philosophy "briefly and unhappily" at his alma mater, Yale, Sam Savage went on to work as a carpenter, a commercial fisherman, and a letterpress printer, all while he "attempted to write, pretended to write, and often really did write." The perseverance paid off with the publication of his offbeat novel, Firmin: Adventures of
a Metropolitan Lowlife, whose protagonist just happens to be a rat -- albeit a very literary one.
Read the interview
Date of Birth:
November 9, 1940
Place of Birth:
Camden, South Carolina
B.A. in Philosophy, Yale, 1968; University of Heidelberg (2 years), Ph.D. in Philosophy, Yale, 1979
American Library Association Notable Book Award, 2006; Library Journal Top Debut Novel Award, 2006
Sam Savage's official web site
|2006 Discover Award Finalist|
|Firmin: Adventures of a Metropolitan Lowlife|
Sam Savage, Michael Mikolowski (Illustrator)
Publishers Weekly calls Savage's fascinating, offbeat novel "an alternately whimsical and earnest paean to the joys of literature." The book's narrator is indeed a voracious reader -- who happens to reside in the walls of a Boston bookstore -- a sad sack of a rat who makes excellent company. "Savage weaves an inventive and dreamlike tale, by turns hilarious and startlingly moving, completely outlandish yet utterly credible, and sure to bring a smile of deep satisfaction to its readers," say our editors of this Discover Award finalist.
Read an excerpt
|From Our Interview|
|"These days my pleasures are small and local," Savage reflects in our interview. "I walk by the lakes. I watch movies on video. I go out once or twice a week for lunch in some little restaurant. I read. My dislikes are large and universal. I have an aversion to jargon. Especially academic jargon. I dream that one morning all the cars in the city will fail to start. I anguish over war and famine. I read the news obsessively. I fume. I think I rant."|
|A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man|
We asked Savage to tell us about the book that's had the most impact on his life and his career as a writer. He named Jame's Joyce's Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, reflecting, "I was 18 when I read it. It’s the book that first made me aware of style. I remember reading the first page and being astonished."
Savage told us that Nikolai Gogol's Russian epic Dead Souls is another favorite book, calling it "a great work of absurdist black humor, expressive language, and vast whimsy." Read our interview with Savage to learn more about his favorite writers and reads, including:
|Photo by Nancy Marshall||