Wednesday, May 9, 2012


In Thad Ziolkowski's aptly named first novel, Wichita, Lewis Chopik, a recent graduate from Columbia University, leaves New York City for his hometown of Wichita, Kansas. He's escaping the pain from a recent breakup with his girlfriend, Victoria, who left him for a Rhodes scholar, and he's avoiding the Ivy League future of his professor father, Virgil. Lewis quickly settles into the home of his New Age mother, Abby, whose house functions as a sort of commune, housing his bipolar brother, Seth; Abby's two boyfriends (earnest Donald lives inside, while eccentric Bishop sleeps in a tent in the yard and operates the basement drug lab); and a bevy of drifters who float in and out.