Book launch party set for Tuesday

URBANA — Local author William Gillespie will have a book launch party from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at Buvons Wine Bar, 203 N. Vine St.

His novel, "Keyhole Factory," will be released that day by Counterpoint/Soft Skull Press. Gillespie will read from his book at 7 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. Following is a description of his novel:

"Set in an alternate present that is a slightly, if dangerously, skewed version of our own, 'Keyhole Factory' tracks the interwoven destinies of disparate characters up to and beyond the end of the world as we know it, brought on by a global supervirus.

"Beginning with a biting satire of an academic poetry conference, the novel moves on to encompass the stories of a poet-astronaut, a microbiologist contemplating an exit strategy from her high-level job designing biological weapons, a sports-car-driving killer who stages the aesthetic murders of utopian commune dwellers and a lone pirate radio disc jockey who may be the last person left alive broadcasting her story to nobody.

"Allowing form and content to shape each other, William Gillespie pries open the confusion in a moment of total crisis through a narrative web-work technique derived from deranged fiction pioneer Harry Stephen Keeler."

Philip Graham, a University of Illinois professor of creative writing, has said, "I think the world is finally ready for William Gillespie."

And the late writer David Foster Wallace, with whom Gillespie studied from 1995 to '98 at Illinois State University, has said of Gillespie: "I've had very, very few superstars. William is a superstar. ... William's work is also compelling and accomplished in its heartcraft, feeling for character, wit and the kind of perverse humility one sees in writers who are smart enough to know how little can be known for certain."

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