Hunter Flanagan, the hero of Charles Blackstone's first novel, “The Week You Were Not Here,” is finishing his senior year at the university of Illinois at Chicago. At 26, he is somewhat older than the typical college senior. He is a writing major, writing a novel, not it seems his first, taking courses like”Film and Authorship” and “Critical Theory,” and tutoring in the Writing Center. Like many writing majors faced with graduation and the prospect of earning a living, he has applied for graduate study perhaps to put off the inevitable.
Meanwhile he lives at home, spends what seems like hours at his computer checking email, sending email, and thinking about whether he should or should not send email. He drinks gallons of tea and coffee, tall and grande, at ubiquitous Starbucks and Starbucks clones.
Most of all Hunter Flanagan obsesses about girls–remembrance of girls past, contemplation of girls present and hopes for girls future. There is Lila. There is Hilary. There is Kate. There is Elaine, Jane, Angela, Simona, and Miriam. There is old Dewey and new Dewey and probably a few others as well. There are those that want him. There are those that he wants. And somehow, for poor Hunter, the two never seem to match.
For all his self analysis, Hunter is caught up in a world he really doesn't understand.
This report prepared by Jack Goodstein