Acting Class | Granta

  • Published: 18/08/2022
  • ISBN: 9781783788392
  • Granta Books
  • 256 pages

Acting Class

Nick Drnaso

Every single person has something unique to them which is impossible to re-create, without exception. -John Smith, acting coach

From the acclaimed author of Sabrina, Nick Drnaso’s Acting Class creates a tapestry of disconnect, distrust, and manipulation. Ten strangers are brought together under the tutelage of John Smith, a mysterious and morally questionable leader. The group of social misfits and restless searchers have one thing in common: they are out of step with their surroundings and desperate for change.

A husband and wife, four years into their marriage and simmering in boredom. A single mother, her young son showing disturbing signs of mental instability. A peculiar woman with few if any friends and only her menial job keeping her grounded. A figure model, comfortable in his body and ready for a creative challenge. A worried grandmother and her adult granddaughter; a hulking laborer and gym nut; a physical therapist; an ex-con.

With thrumming unease, the class sinks deeper into their lessons as the process demands increasing devotion. When the line between real life and imagination begins to blur, the group’s deepest fears and desires are laid bare. Exploring the tension between who we are and how we present, Drnaso cracks open his characters’ masks and takes us through an unsettling American journey.

Masterfully told, artfully layered, and beautifully rendered, Acting Class shows again that Nick Drnaso is attuned to a particular American ennui and eeriness like no other artist currently at work. He is a unique talent

Kevin Barry, author of Night Boat to Tangier

[A] fascinating tale... It is at once a commentary on the power of art to reshape us, and on the dangers of conforming. Acting Class is uncanny, wholly original, and deeply satisfying

Esi Edugyan, author of Washington Black

The Author

Winner of the Prix Revelation at Angouleme 2018, Nick Drnaso was born in 1989 in Palos Hills, Illinois. His debut graphic novel, Beverly, received the LA Times Book prize for Best Graphic Novel. He has contributed to several comics anthologies and has been nominated for three Ignatz Awards. Drnaso lives in Chicago, where he works as a cartoonist and illustrator.

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From the Same Author

Sabrina

Nick Drnaso

‘The best book – in any medium – I have read about our current moment … A MASTERPIECE’ Zadie Smith

‘A masterpiece for our times’ Observer

WHERE IS SABRINA?

The answer is hidden on a videotape, a tape which is en route to several news outlets, and about to go viral.

A landmark graphic novel, already hailed as one of the most exciting and moving stories of recent years, Sabrina is a tale of modern mystery, anxiety, fringe paranoia and mainstream misinformation — a book that tells the story of those left behind in the wake of tragedy, has important things to say about how we live now, and possesses the rare power to leave readers pulverised.