Crossings: A Novel (Hardcover)
Alex Landragin's Crossings is an unforgettable and explosive genre-bending debut—a novel in three parts, designed to be read in two different directions, spanning a hundred and fifty years and seven lifetimes.
On the brink of the Nazi occupation of Paris, a German-Jewish bookbinder stumbles across a manuscript called Crossings. It has three narratives, each as unlikely as the next. And the narratives can be read one of two ways: either straight through or according to an alternate chapter sequence.
The first story in Crossings is a never-before-seen ghost story by the poet Charles Baudelaire, penned for an illiterate girl. Next is a noir romance about an exiled man, modeled on Walter Benjamin, whose recurring nightmares are cured when he falls in love with a storyteller who draws him into a dangerous intrigue of rare manuscripts, police corruption, and literary societies. Finally, there are the fantastical memoirs of a woman-turned-monarch whose singular life has spanned seven generations.
With each new chapter, the stunning connections between these seemingly disparate people grow clearer and more extraordinary. Crossings is an unforgettable adventure full of love, longing and empathy.
About the Author
ALEX LANDRAGIN is a French-Armenian-Australian writer. Currently based in Melbourne, Australia, he has also resided in Paris, Marseille, Los Angeles, New Orleans and Charlottesville. He has previously worked as a librarian, an indigenous community worker and an author of Lonely Planet travel guides in Australia, Europe and Africa. Alex holds an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Melbourne and occasionally performs early jazz piano under the moniker Tenderloin Stomp. Crossings is his debut novel.
"An exquisite novel. My initial melancholy rage at not having written it myself swiftly transformed into blissful gratitude that it exists at all, and that I am lucky enough to read it. Sure to be one of the biggest literary events of the year."
—Sam J. Miller, Nebula Award Winning author of Blackfish City
"This delightful puzzle box of a novel is full of clever structural tricks that echo works by Nabokov and Cortazar, but Crossings goes beyond postmodern gamesmanship and finds real heart and soul in its compelling characters and old-fashioned
storytelling ethos. Alex Landrigan has given us a deeply satisfying read!"
—Dan Chaon, author of Ill Will
"Crossings is at once a romance, a puzzle box, and a supernatural mystery that spans not only the globe but also the centuries. Landragin has crafted a richly imaginative novel sure to appeal to fans of Cloud Atlas and Possession."
—Tom Sweterlitsch, award-winning author of The Gone World
“Crossings is playful, obsessive, romantic, intelligent, and wholly absorbing, with fascinations enough for a whole shelf of novels. I followed its alternate sequence rather than its conventional one, and reading it I had the unusual—for me maybe even unprecedented—sense, no matter where I was in the page count, that I was always occupying its exact center. Like its characters, I was never sure how close I was to the beginning of the story, how close to the end, which gave it an aura of inexhaustibility. It's a book that feels not endless but endlessly replenishable."
—Kevin Brockmeier, New York Times Bestselling author
“Alex Landragin works a vast magician’s kit of erudite invention and heart in this enchanting debut. Crossings is a novel to savor and re-read."
-Wells Tower, author of Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned