This is These Lowly Objects, a tale about the enigmatic Jules Lalande, an aristocrat, soldier, forger, painter. A grifter, shape-shifter, cad, flâneur, and more than anything, the most unreliable of narrators. Lalande's story shifts as often as he changes identities. When he vanishes, the mystery of his disappearance bedevils Titus Pidgeon, an investigator who retraces the great artist's last years.
During the hunt for Lalande, Pidgeon encounters the man's complicated wife, Isobel, and seeks answers from a milieu of spoiled artists, off-kilter Dadaists, and eccentric literary greats, all who have their own opinions about what happened to Lalande. Who was the outlandish Jules Lalande, that charlatan who could con his way out of any scrape, whose antics still haunt his friends years later? Who is that mercurial, God-like man?
These Lowly Objects explores an uproarious era, a time of tremendous social and artistic change; it is a sweeping ghost story of love and art, a mystery about alter egos, a novel that transports readers to fin de siècle Europe and the Americas while they endure battles in the Great War, bootleg through Prohibition-era New York, and loaf in the jungles of 1920s Cuba. With all these lofty events and lowly objects, Lalande reinvents himself, and McGowan retools the roman à clef.
Jules Lalande soon will make his grand entrance courtesy of Gold Wake Press.