authors | August 21, 2014

Magic Moment: Lev Grossman’s The Magician’s Land is a #1 New York Times Bestseller

“These books are like crack,” says the New York Times of speaker Lev Grossman’s Magicians Trilogy, “you feel that breathless, stay-up-all-night, thrumming excitement.” The final book in Grossman’s wildly popular fantasy series is The Magician’s Land—it debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestsellers list. “When I got that message [about the #1 NYT bestseller] I felt like Julia [from the Magicians Trilogy] when she finally does her first magic spell, after being shut out of Brakebills and wandering in the wilderness for years,” wrote Grossman on his blog. “I couldn’t believe it.”

Grossman is also the book critic for TIME Magazine, and has written and spoken extensively about the growth of fantasy fiction in popular culture and what it means for our society. In an exclusive interview at our New York City office (video embedded above), Grossman talked to us about why fantasy has become so important.

“We live in a world that has been radically transformed. Fantasy is a way for us to try to make sense of that,” he says. “Most of the history of human literature is the history of fantasy. Shakespeare (ghosts, monsters, fairies, spirits), Dante, Home, Ovid. Now, realism is the only thing that’s classified as literature. We think of that as simply just and right. But in fact it’s an aberration. And it’s one that’s in the process of being corrected.”

Fantasy writers are able to tap into our world, and our longings and preoccupations, says Grossman. The genre enables us to ask questions about technology, human connection, and the natural world. “In the real world we’re busy staring at our phones as global warming gradually renders the world we’re ignoring uninhabitable,” writes Grossman in TIME. “Fantasy holds out the possibility that there’s another way to live.”

A riveting and always entertaining speaker, Lev Grossman's talks are full of illuminating anecdotes and frank insights into the way we live and read and watch and browse now. To book Lev Grossman as a speaker for your next event, contact The Lavin Agency.

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