“Dreaming of Gwen Stefani is a quirky and compelling riff on the nature of romantic obsession, celebrity worship, free will versus determinism and the joys of Papaya ‘Queen’ hot dogs.”–Jay McInerney
Mortimer Taylor Coleridge is a unique man. With a mind of rare mathematical precision, he is obsessed with imposing order upon the chaos of every day life. A once brilliant student of evolutionary biology at Columbia University, he has turned his back on a promising academic career to devote his life to selling hot dogs at Papaya Queen. And Mortimer has used his keen intellect to become the quickest and most efficient of hot dog men, devising a numerical-based system to sell hot dogs which maximizes both time and effort.
One day while watching TV, Mortimer comes upon VH1, and his life is instantly transformed. While watching Behind the Music: No Doubt, he decides that he and Gwen Stefani are soul mates, destined to be together. When Mortimer discovers that her favorite food is a Papaya Queen hot dog, he dedicates his life to preparing for the day, which he knows will come, when Gwen Stefani will walk into the Papaya Queen where he works, order a frankfurter and fall in love with him.
In the comic tradition of writers such as Carl Hiaasen and Lydia Millet, Dreaming of Gwen Stefani takes our culture’s obsession with celebrity to its logical—or illogical—conclusion.
EVAN MANDERY is the author of two works of nonfiction. Dreaming of Gwen Stefani is his first novel. He lives in New York City.