Fiction is stranger than fiction
Literary traditionalists who argue that you shouldn’t mess with well-known works may be forgiven for forming a mob to run authors Jonathan and Tad Richards out of town. The brothers insist that F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway never existed. But they also argue that Nick Carraway and Jake Barnes, long believed to be literary creations of Fitzgerald and Hemingway (Carraway is the narrator of Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby while Barnes is the narrator of Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises), were real characters and that they, the Richards boys, have unearthed the long-lost letters of Carraway and Barnes.
The result is the epistolary novel Nick & Jake (Red Thrush Publications; www.nickandjake.org). Tad and Jonathan Richards read excerpts from the book at 6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 30, at Collected Works Bookstore, 202 Galisteo St., 988-4226. Joining the Richardses are actors Alan Arkin, Ali MacGraw, and Allison Roper.
Set in the first half of 1953, Nick & Jake mixes real and imagined characters into a complicated plot involving an American-driven coup in Iran (preposterous, of course), the Commie-chasing senator, Joseph McCarthy, and Christine Jorgensen, reportedly the first person to have sex-change surgery in Europe. Sex scenes from the book will probably not be re-created during this staged reading — perhaps because there are very few of them, aside from the slipper limpet incident. (See page 191.)