Palahniuk signing new novel Friday

Published 9:23 am Wednesday, September 27, 2023

By Adam Szetela

On Sept. 5, Simon & Schuster published Chuck Palahniuk’s latest novel. According to the publisher, “Not Forever, But for Now” is about “a family of professional killers responsible for the most atrocious events in history – and the young brothers who are destined to inherit it all.” 

Like Fight Club, Palahniuk’s newest novel is sure to leave a trail of controversy and debate in its wake. Ahead of his event at The Powerhouse on Sept. 29, Palahniuk and I sat down to talk about his latest contribution to American letters. 

Email newsletter signup

For Palahniuk, writing is a process of reevaluation. “My friends who have kids,” he explained, “They’re able to revisit their own developmental phases as they watch their kids come up against one sort of hurdle, one crisis after another.” 

Palahniuk doesn’t have kids, but he does have his writing. “What I’m doing is, I’m looking at life choices that I’ve made and I am doing the same sort of process of reevaluating whether or not they’re valid. With Not Forever, it was very much about addiction.”

Palahniuk wasn’t always this kind of writer. It was a head injury that changed everything. “I could not write well until I got beat up by a group of kids in the early to mid nineties. They just pounded me in downtown Portland one night. After that, I wrote Fight Club. It changed my writing entirely. Before, I was writing Modernism. It was boring. It wasn’t intuitive. Then after this, getting pounded one night, suddenly my writing was intuitive. It was different. It was fun to do. It was fun to read.”

The exploration of addiction, violence, and other uncomfortable topics in Not Forever, But for Now will not disappoint Palahniuk’s fans. 

Nor will his trip to Oxford. At the door, his team will be handing out long foam batons that are filled with LED lights. When the lights go out, the whole audience will – in the number one New York Times bestselling author’s words – “become this spectacular sea of flashing multicolored amazing colors.”