Confessions of a Very Literary Economic Hitman

While writing about economics in Ecuador for a nonprofit think tank straight out of undergrad, Mountford noticed his title was “Senior Associate” for a hedge fund he’d never heard of. It turned out the think tank was running the hedge fund out of its back office–and Mountford found the inspiration for his first novel. Mountfrod will read from A Young Man’s Guide to Late Capitalism at 7:30pm, Thursday, April 21, at Magers & Quinn.

A Young Man’s Guide to Late Capitalism is, quite simply, one of the most compelling and thought-provoking novels I’ve read in years. It’s extraordinarily vivid, populated by characters whose fates I cared about desperately, beautifully written, timely beyond measure, but above all it conveys–with impressive precision and nuance–how we are vectors on the grid of global capital; how difficult it is to even attempt to be an authentic, let alone admirable, human being when we are, first and last, cash flow.”–David Shields, author of Reality Hunger: A Manifesto

On his first assignment for a rapacious hedge fund, Gabriel embarks to Bolivia at the end of 2005 to ferret out insider information about the plans of the controversial president-elect. If Gabriel succeeds, he will get a bonus that would make him secure for life. Standing in his way are his headstrong mother, herself a survivor of Pinochet’s Chile, and Gabriel’s new love interest, the president’s passionate press liaison. Caught in a growing web of lies and questioning his own role in profiting from an impoverished people, Gabriel sets in motion a terrifying plan that could cost him the love of all those he holds dear.

“In Mountford’s novel, the stakes of international finance and the personal lives of those involved intersect in a beautifully drawn Bolivia. A Young Man’s Guide to Late Capitalism accomplishes that rare trick of being a book of ideas and politics while remaining, at its core, a profoundly intimate, character-driven story and a tremendously good read.”–Garth Stein, author of The Art of Racing in the Rain

Peter Mountford has lived in Washington, D.C., New York and Los Angeles, as well as Scotland, Sri Lanka, Ecuador, and Mexico. His fiction has appeared in Best New American Voices 2008, Boston Review, and Conjunctions. He currently lives in Seattle with his wife and daughter. Find him online at

Details are here.–David E