LIVE from the NYPL artist-in-resident Flash Rosenberg takes on, "What Can I Do When Everything's On Fire?" as discussed by António Lobo Antunes and Paul Holdengraber on September 23, 2008.
In "What Can I Do When Everything's On Fire?", the preeminent Portuguese novelist António Lobo Antunes, who trained as a psychiatrist and spent four years in the Portuguese army during the Angolan War, tells a story of sanity lost, of madness and consumption. This is a saga of growing old, of loving no matter what, and finally, of a young man ineluctably coming to terms with the sins of his father and the life he has inherited now.
Based on a real life story and set in the steamy world of Lisbon's nightclub milieu of the 1990s—a baleful planet populated by drag queens, clowns, and drug addicts—the son of a legendary transvestite searches for his identity as he recalls the harrowing death of his father. The razor-thin line between reality and madness is fully transgressed in Lobo Antunes's first novel to appear in English in five years.
Direction and live drawing: Flash Rosenberg Video editor: Sarah Lohman