Chris Eaton, frontman and principle songwriter of Rock Plaza Central, has announced that the band is currently on a break from touring so he can concentrate on finishing his third novel before the arrival of his other project, an as-yet-unnamed-and-unborn baby.

While perhaps best known for his work with the band, including this year’s critically-acclaimed At the Moment of Our Most Needing…, and 2006’s breakthrough Are We Not Horses?, Chris Eaton is also the author of The Inactivist (2003) and The Grammar Architect (2005). Despite his relatively young age, his work has been studied on three university courses in North America, and papers on both The Inactivist and RPC’s Are We Not Horses? (2006) were delivered at this year’s Midwest Modern Language Annual Conference in St Louis.

After completing a near sold-out tour of the eastern United States with The Weakerthans in September, Eaton decided he’d been putting this third novel off for too long. “I actually started the book while I was living in Panama four years ago, right before recording Are We Not Horses?, and then immediately got caught up in all these requests for us to come tour. But being on the road can be horrible on the kind of writing that I do, where I need my complete focus at all times.”

The new novel, tentatively titled Chris Eaton: a Biography (a novel by Chris Eaton), is about twenty-five different people who all share the author’s name, based on other real Chris Eaton’s around the world he’s been painstakingly researching. The twenty five characters never meet, and the book instead relies on coincidence and the biographical form to create a story about identity and how we see each other and ourselves. The stories begin to blur into each other with the idea that, in the end, we are all living the same life, dealing with the same hopes and fears. And even when we are ostensibly talking about other people, we are still just talking about ourselves.

A section from the upcoming Chris Eaton: a Biography can be found on the Joyland website:

Created by writers Emily Schultz and Brian Joseph Davis, Joyland: a hub for short fiction has been called “the go-to spot for readers seeking the best voices in short fiction.” Operating out of San Francisco, Toronto, Chicago, Los Angeles, Montreal, New York and Vancouver, they have also recently published works by Jonathan Lethem (winner of the 1999 National Book Critics Circle Award), Lydia Millet (winner of the 2003 PEN-USA Award for Fiction), and founding editor of The Believer, Ed Park.

Chris Eaton’s work has also recently been featured in Australia’s The Lifted Brow with Ben Greeman, Rick Moody, Daniel Handler and Brian Evenson, and Britain’s We Are The Friction with Spencer Krug and Carey Mercer. Rock Plaza Central will play one remaining show on Jan 23 in Toronto at The Garrison. Meanwhile a new video for “Handsome Men” should appear around the same time.


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