HITTING SHELVES: Palaces by Simon Jacobs

Palaces by Simon Jacobs comes out today! It’s a debut novel about a young couple fleeing a violent and mysterious event, and it’s amazing. We asked the author how he’s celebrating.

It will mostly be a normal Tuesday: I’ll work my day job and then I’ll head to my weekly evening shift at Bluestockings, a volunteer-run bookstore and activist center on the Lower East Side, where I’ve worked for the last three years (and where I’ll also be launching Palaces the following weekend). I’ll wash dishes, serve coffee, work the register, and, if I’m lucky and the day’s deliveries are late, I’ll get to personally bring copies of Palaces out to the shelves. I will then cheerfully and unsubtly hand-sell them to customers for the rest of the evening.

Bluestockings has been one of my favorite parts about living in NYC. It’s nice to frequent a place where you could, say, teach yourself safe dumpster-diving habits on one end of the store and read up on class history or trans fiction on the other.

So much of my best, most eclectic reading over the past few years has come via chance encounters at Bluestockings: Imogen Binnie, Darcie Wilder, Achy Obejas, Inio Asano, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, Margaret Killjoy. There aren’t many bookstores where you can find Routledge and Crimethinc and the Feminist Press all on the same shelf. Plus, your local anarchist bookstore/cafe/infoshop is a good place to be in a time of perpetual crisis: use this map to find one near you!

After my shift, we’ll have a good dinner and survey other area bookstores on foot for copies in the wild. I’ll walk by the building on Lafayette where David Bowie used to live, because I always do, and because all roads lead back to Bowie.

Simon Jacobs is the author of Saturn (Spork Press), a collection of David Bowie stories, and of Masterworks (Instar Books), a short story collection. His other fiction has appeared in Tin HouseBlack Warrior ReviewJoyland, and Paper Darts. He lives in New York City. Palaces is his first novel.

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