Vollmann launches super-sized ‘Imperial’

imperialSacramento author William T. Vollmann, whose last novel “Europe Central” won the National Book Award in 2005, brings out a new book this week about the California-Mexico border. Titled Imperial, the non-fiction tome has a length of 1344 pages and a weight of 3.8 pounds. In a Twitter message, author Luis Alberto Urrea, who has also written extensively about the border and the human and cultural traffic that crosses it, called it “a monster.” The New York magazine reviewer referred to it as “Moby-Dick in the desert.”

Also being released is a photographic companion to the book, also titled “Imperial,” with 200 photographs Vollmann took of the border region during his years of research for the non-fiction tome.

Vollmann appears in the Bay Area this week to read from and talk about “Imperial,” on Wednesday at 7:30 at Moe’s Bookstore in Berkeley, on Thursday at 12:30 pm at the Mechanic’s Institute, 57 Post St. in San Francisco, and at 7:30 pm at Booksmith on Haight St. in San Francisco. More tour dates on booktour.com.

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