Perry Nelson

This week’s featured character is Perry Nelson, who published his first novel (The World) when he was eighteen years old, and his second (Distance and Time) when he was almost twenty. Quartet followed just as he turned twenty-two.

At around the same as he began to realize that people were buying, and reading, The World in alarming numbers, he met Alexandra Ross.

He said later that he met her when he prevented her from committing suicide. She denies this, saying that if she had set out to kill herself she’d be dead, and that she’d just been cutting her arm and it was none of his damn business if she wanted to use a razor blade on herself.

In any case, Perry’s gesture, whatever the facts and whatever its motivation, has ended up bonding him, apparently for life, to Alex and her extended family.

We first meet Perry at the beginning of A Sane Woman, stumbling exhausted into Sam Little’s apartment after a television appearance which wasn’t quite as bad as he thought.

He does not appear in Utown though he is discussed, and glimpsed on television. However, his writing is discussed as part of the series The Ten Pillars of Modern Literature.

He will appear, and play an important role, in the new novel, but we haven’t quite got to that part yet.

Very soon, though.

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