The Nostalgia Echo

by Mickey Hess


Nostalgia is coming back around. A professional narrator named Gene is searching for his birth mother, armed with nothing but a Polaroid photograph of her at a 1976 book release party for Dr. Everett Barnes’ Nostalgia: Its Origins and Attributes. Dr. Barnes, meanwhile, is about to become famous for a book he wrote thirty years ago.

Nostalgia – once considered a potentially-fatal disease when it was first diagnosed in the 17th century – has been relegated to the realm of the sentimental, but based on Dr. Barnes’ theories, people are beginning to reconsider its dangerous effects: doctors return to the old cures; pharmaceutical companies solicit Dr. Barnes to endorse the new anti-nostalgic medications they have developed; and Gene seeks out Dr. Barnes to somehow realign the missing pieces of his past into a story with a beginning, middle, and ending.

Praise for The Nostalgia Echo

The Nostalgia Echo is the best book you will read this year, or any year: the exact antidote to all those tired, humorless, beige-colored novels of recent memory, the writing here pops with both a dazzling intelligence and a devastating depth of character. Mr. Hess carries on in the great tradition of Vonnegut, D. Barthelme, and every other genius literary madman.”
—Joe Meno, author of The Great Perhaps

“The Nostalgia Echo is ridiculously witty in its observations of the absurdities of pop culture. But more importantly, Mickey Hess has created the most inventive narration technique I’ve ever witnessed.”
—Joey Goebel, author of Commonwealth

“Let it be known that Mickey Hess knows how to tell a story that is, at once, witty, charming, humorous, and darkly incisive, and he knows how to tell that story damn well. In The Nostalgia Echo, Hess deftly offers an antidote to the modern condition and the impossible notion that we must always keep moving forward. As you laugh, reading Hess’s stylish prose, you may well find you also have tears at the corners of your eyes because this book also has all kinds of heart.”
—Roxane Gay, author of Ayiti