Today’s Debut of the Day pick is a "cabinet of wonders" of a book that is both a touching coming-of-age story and an unusual multimedia work. Author Reid Larsen is a filmmaker as well as an author, and his visual talents are brought to life through the drawings included in his unconventional 2009 debut, The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet.
One day, T.S. Spivet gets a phone call from the Smithsonian Institution, informing him that he has won a national award for his mapmaking and will be the keynote speaker at an upcoming celebration in Washington. What the Smithsonian doesn't know is that T.S. is only 12 years old. What T.S. doesn't know is how he's going to get to Washington. What his rancher father and scientist mother don't know is that he will get there, making the crossing from the family ranch in Divide, Montana, to the Mall in D.C. all on his own. He will run away from home, from the unbearable memory of his little brother Layton's accidental death, which—unaccountably—he had a hand in.
So begins Reif Larsen's miraculous The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet, a debut novel narrated by the pre-pubescent cartographer, filled to the very edges of each page with his hundreds of drawings and other assorted marginalia.
Read the entire interview from our May 2009 issue here.