Wil Medearis, "Restoration Heights," with John Glynn
January 30, 2019, 7:00 PM
Restoration Heights, Wil Medearis' debut novel, is a noir tale of mystery and power that echoes Raymond Chandler and James Baldwin, creating a nuanced, unique narrative of New York City and the people within.
Reddick, a young, white artist, lives in Bedford-Stuyvesant, a historically black Brooklyn neighborhood besieged by gentrification. He makes rent as an art handler in Manhattan and spends his free time playing basketball at the local Y rather than putting energy into his stagnating career.
He is also the last person to see Hannah before she disappears. When Hannah's fiancé, scion to a wealthy Upper East Side family, refuses to call the police, Reddick sets out to discover what happened to her. The search pulls him through a dramatic cross section of New York, taking him to the heart of a many-layered mystery that, in its unraveling, shakes Reddick's convictions and lays bare the complex power dynamics of the city.
Restoration Heights is both a page-turning mystery and an in-depth study of the psychological fallout and deep racial tensions that result from economic inequality and unrestricted urban development. In lyrical, addictive prose, Wil Medearis asks the question: In a metropolis that prides itself on its diversity and inclusivity, who has the final say over the future? Timely, page-turning and sweeping in vision, Restoration Heights is an exhilarating new entry in the canon of great New York novels.
Wil Medearis will be joined in conversation by his editor, John Glynn.
Wil Medearis holds an MFA in painting from the University of Pennsylvania. His artwork has been featured in galleries in Richmond, Philadelphia and Manhattan's Lower East Side. He has worked as an adjunct professor, tended bar at a country club, refinished furniture for an antiques dealer and hung art inside the homes of some of the wealthiest art collectors in Manhattan. Restoration Heights is his first novel.