Alex-Li Tandem, an Autograph Man, lives in a world of symbols and signs, where emotions are signified by “International Gestures,” people and objects are definitively classified and categorized, where the most valuable way to define yourself is by your name. Alex buys and sells autographs. He is not a collector—he is a trader. An autograph to him has no sentimental value. Usually.
To Alex, life is an exercise of finding things to put between yourself and death. What does Alex fill his life with? An eccentric batch of friends meet at a tragic visit to a wrestling match fifteen years ago. An entourage of unlikely Rabbis. A girlfriend of ten years to whom he cannot stay faithful. A (Goyish) cat named Grace. Autographs, autograph auctions, autograph men. But most of all, the search, the seemingly impossible search, for the autograph of his obsession: the signature of forties movie actress Kitty Alexander.
And what does it all mean to him--or does it mean anything at all? Can Alex find any meaning in between his trade of paper symbols?
This report prepared by Jess G