Monday, January 12, 2015

Peter Mountford

Peter Mountford’s debut novel, A Young Man’s Guide to Late Capitalism, won the 2012 Washington State Book Award and was a finalist in the 2012 VCU Cabell First Novelist Prize. In its full-page review, The Seattle Times wrote: “Debut novels don't come much savvier, punchier, or more entertaining...the work of an extraordinary talent.”

Mountford's latest novel is The Dismal Science.

From his Q & A with Lora Shinn for the Los Angeles Review of Books:

Lora Shinn: When did you get the idea for The Dismal Science?

Peter Mountford: When I was 17 or so, my father worked at the IMF, and he was part of this breakfast club of senior economists — they’d all sit around over bad coffee and Marriott cafeteria breakfast gossiping about global finance. Sometimes I’d tag along. Much to their amusement, I had blue hair and played in a punk band. One morning, a soft-spoken Japanese guy was troubled because Russia wasn’t collecting taxes on their rich, and they had a lot of debt; he was managing the largest loan that the IMF had ever given: $50 billion to Russia. So he said he was going to cut off their loan. Next morning, The Washington Post’s front page said “IMF Suspends Loan to Russia.” This guy, this friend of the family — who played in a Mariachi band for fun, and loved Scotch — he had just twisted the arm of a superpower. This mild-mannered economist with an innocuous office in a nondescript building. No one knew who he was. And that’s how the world works. That was the seed for this novel, truth be told — the story gets rolling in a breakfast conversation in that same cafeteria.

LS: You seem to have a good feel for the internal workings of the World Bank and Lehman. How did you gain the insights necessary?

PM: I knew the World Bank because of my dad’s work at the IMF, but I didn’t know much about Lehman and...[read on]
Visit Peter Mountford's website.

The Page 69 Test: A Young Man's Guide to Late Capitalism.

My Book, The Movie: A Young Man's Guide to Late Capitalism.

Writers Read: Peter Mountford.

The Page 69 Test: The Dismal Science.

My Book, The Movie: The Dismal Science.

--Marshal Zeringue