Fiction: 295 pages
At Columbia University in April 1968, Hilton Obenzinger was one of many students who dramatically occupied the president’s office. For six days they protested the university’s secret research to support the Vietnam War and its plans to build a gym in Morningside Park despite the opposition of Harlem. The occupation adn subsequent strike was a generational moment repeated in universities around the country and throughout the world. BUSY DYING is an autobiographical novel, a portrait of the author’s Polish Jewish family, a coming of age in poetry, music, politics, and friends in New York City and Columbia, including a dangerous exodus through the Yukon to end up teaching on an Indian reservation in Northern California. All of this is comically and sometimes tragically relived as the author is inspired by a series of encounters and coincidences, including the revelations of students he teaches at Stanford today and the surprising discovery of the story behind ‘Hilton Obenzinger,’ a 1980s Long Island high school humor magazine.
“Hilton Obenzinger is an American original.”