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The Mechanics
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Chicago Thu Mar 12 2009

Political Musical Writer Writes 'Please Step Back'

My former boss, Ben Greenman, is set to release his first novel in May called "Please Step Back." How does this relate to Chicago and politics? I'm glad you asked! Greenman is a Chicago native who attended Northwestern for journalism graduate school and very recently wrote for this year's fiction issue of the Reader. Concerning politics, he's also the masterful mind behind these hilarious musicals about recent political scandals. Read them here under the humor circle. The press release for Greenman's book is below:

Coming Soon: Ben Greenman's new funk-rock novel, "Please Step Back," due in May from Melville House.

--What is it?
Ben Greenman's novel "Please Step Back" is a swirling Sixties saga of a true
American icon, the funk star Rock Foxx. In Greenman's imagined (but very
real) world, Foxx is one of the genre-busting stars of the era who created a
new kind of music amid a new kind of culture, like Sly Stone or James Brown
or Curtis Mayfield.

--Will people like it?
Greenman's novel, which tracks Foxx's rise and fall, is already being hailed
as "light-stepping and hard-hitting...Greenman gets it right" (by Walter
Mosley) and "a literary funk-rock novel with weight and power" (by George

--Is it true that there is a theme song for the book?
The last movement of the book turns on the title song, which Greenman's main
character wrote but was never able to record. Greenman has enlisted the help
of the funk legend Swamp Dogg, one of the many real-life inspirations for
the character, who wrote music for the lyrics and, in an unprecedented
collaboration, recorded a theme song for the novel.

--How can I find out more?
To interview the author or write about this book, please contact Clara
Heyworth at Melville House (718.722.9204;



Ben Greenman is an editor at The New Yorker and the author of a number of
acclaimed books of fiction, including Superbad, A Circle is A Balloon and
Compass Both, and Correspondences. His short fiction and journalism has
appeared in The New Yorker, the New York Times, the Washington Post,
McSweeney's, Zoetrope: All Story, OneStory, and the Paris Review. He lives
in Brooklyn.

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