PRESS RELEASE 02/20/2013 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
We Were Beautiful Once, Chapters from a Cold War, a Novel, (Sunbury Press, Feb. 2013), Joseph Carvalko.
We Were Beautiful Once is a psychologically complex courtroom novel that builds an intriguing web of events, creating a sustained sense of anticipation from chapter to chapter in the mold of John Grisham’s The Pelican Brief, where trial lawyer Nick Castalano tries to uncover the fate of Roger Girardin, MIA during the Korean War, and discovers he may have been murdered in a POW camp. Before the war, Jack O’Conner, Hamilton, Girardin and Julie, Girardin’s girlfriend and Jack’s sister, hung out. In part the story follows the lives of the survivors, who after the war, with Roger’s disappearance and Jack and Trent having spent years in a North Korean hell-hole, change dramatically, notably Jack goes through life teetering on the edge of insanity (believing he may have killed Girardin) and that his murderous act will be discovered by his sister, who waits her entire life for Roger’s return.
Josip Novakovich wrote: “Carvalko has written a wonderful military mystery novel, with great authentic details and deep psychological insights–a thrilling trip into our past.” Novakovich is a current nominee for the Man Booker International Prize 2013, Whiting Writers’ Award recipient and bestselling author of April Fool’s Day, Yolk, Salvation and Other Disasters, Infidelities: Stories of War and Lust.
Da Chen wrote: “Carvalko writes with such convincing realism and lyricism that I was at once brought into the landscape of his literary vision and grip of his storytelling. His prose is wiry and wise, steely yet soulful. His tales are tethered to real life, lived and thoroughly pondered. In right light, he is a cross between James Patterson and Scott Turow, only wiser and much more generous.” Chen is New York Times bestselling author of Colors of the Mountain, a memoir, Brothers, a novel, and My Last Empress, a novel.
Joseph Carvalko is an American writer, lawyer born in Bridgeport, Connecticut. The novel, We Were Beautiful Once, Chapters from a Cold War was inspired by a case he tried in Federal Court to locate a Korean War POW. A 2004 documentary “Missing, Presumed Dead: The Search for America’s POWs” narrated by Ed Asner details his trial efforts. In addition to numerous professional and academic writing, other of his publications include: The Techno-Human Shell-A Jump in the Evolutionary Gap (2012), which details the rapid rise in cyborg-like technology; A Road Once Traveled, Life from All Sides (2007); and A Deadly Fog (2004). In 2012, he was one of two finalists for the 2012 Red Mountain Press Prize for Poetry, for The Interior, A Memoir; and one of three finalists for the 2012 Esurance Poetry prize, for his poem The Road Home. When he is not writing, he plays jazz piano. He, his wife Susie and four cats live between the Connecticut and Florida coastal areas.
Please click here for Amazon link.
All in the Family: MFA Alum A.J. O’Connell’s Interview of MFA Alum (and book prize winner) Nick Knittel
I expected someone older when I met Nick Knittel. It was 2009 and Knittel was part of my second-ever workshop at Fairfield University’s low-residency MFA program. He’d submitted a story about two little boys who’d lost their mother. Because the story featured a compassionate father, that’s kind of who I expected when I checked in on Enders Island.
Instead I met a young man, just out of undergrad, who could write a mean piece of short fiction.
Two years later, Knittel won our MFA program’s inaugural book prize (judged by poet Charles Simic) for “Good Things,” a collection of deep, quiet short stories. The book was released by New Rivers Press in October 2012. Now that first story I read – the one about the grieving little boys – is available for all to read, along with nine others.
For entire interview, please click here
James M. Chesbro’s essay ”Night Running” which first appeared in CT Review, has been selected as a notable essay for the Best American Essay series, 2012. http://www.hmhbooks.com/hmh/bestamerican/essaysbookdetails
Matthew Hamilton’s poem, “Benazir Bhutto” was short-listed in Cha: An Asian Literary Journal poetry contest, “Betrayal,” and will appear in the March 2013 issue.
- In Corporeality, Hollis Seamon’s latest fiction collection, we meet the cat lady, the professor dealing with a plagiarist while coping with personal hardships, sibling rivalry of the unnaturally cursed kind, the dog that goes beyond everyday dog sense and scent to protect its owners. These are some of the eclectic characters and settings that make Corporeality irresistible and difficult to put down once you’ve started reading. Like her preceding collection Body Work and mystery novel Flesh, this book is a testament to Seamon’s ample gifts as a storyteller.
PRAISE FOR CORPOREALITY:
Hollis Seamon’s Corporeality is a wonderful collection of stories, dazzling and unsentimental, full of everyday tragedies, fairy-tale motifs, and rambunctious, life-affirming characters who stand up to bullies and to fate, whether in a hospice, a flophouse, or a university classroom. It’s a feast of language that you won’t soon forget.
—Alan Davis, author of So Bravely Vegetative and Alone with the Owl
The characters in Corporeality are smart. Smart enough to see that the world is chaos and decay, but sometimes too smart for their jobs, whether they’re professors or trash collectors. And they are way too smart for their undependable bodies, which is the great rub of Hollis Seamon’s fine and original stories. How do we cope, these carefully calibrated stories ask, when our minds grow daily more perceptive and sharp and witty, yet the darkness still approaches?
—Dave King, author of The Ha-Ha
What a magical collection! Hollis Seamon’s enchanting stories will make you marvel anew at the forever strange, blessed, and heart-breaking affliction we share as human beings on this earth. Seamon’s lovingly-rendered characters will linger in your memory for a long, long time.
—Edward Schwarzschild, author of Responsible Men
These stories make memorable the people you wonder about in passing—the cat lady, the deformed, the witness to a questionable death, the professor who walks out of class never to return, the teen boy in hospice, the neighbors of the crazy, victims of acts of god, the loveless and forlorn. Written with both humor and pathos, the quirky characters in Hollis Seamon’s stories drew me in and left me, as she writes, “astonished by life.”
—Eugenia Kim, author of The Calligrapher’s Daughter
These stories have grace, wit, adventure, danger, humor, compassion, magic, and rage. Hollis Seamon casts full and dazzling light on those who are often overlooked—teenaged lovebirds in hospice, flood victims before the flood, plagiarists, arsonists, old ladies, fat dogs. She brings them to life so tenderly and powerfully that they stay with you, long after the last page.
—Nalini Jones, author of What You Call Winter
THE WHIPPING CLUB – Deborah Henry
“The Whipping Club takes us to mid-20th-century Ireland, where a good Catholic girl decides to give up her half-Jewish child for adoption. Secrecy, lifelong guilt, and remorse aren’t even half of what she and the child will suffer in Deborah Henry’s novel.”
—O – Oprah Magazine July Summer Reading Issue 2012
“Henry weaves multilayered themes of prejudice, corruption and redemption with an authentic voice and swift, seamless dialogue. Her prose is engaging, and light poetic touches add immediacy. Echoing the painful lessons of the Jewish Holocaust, Henry’s tale reveals what happens when good people remain silent. A powerful saga of love and survival.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“The prose of The Whipping Club is gripping, and almost poetic in its emotional depth, while the research is concise and accurate, and the story haunting…The Whipping Club holds the promise of a long and meaningful career for Deborah Henry as a serious writer. Bravo!”—Seattle Post-Intelligencer?
“Set in 1960?s Ireland, Henry’s riveting debut novel explores the?far-reaching effects of a single decision.”
“Deborah Henry’s eloquent, magnificently designed novel . . . A story that will draw out every straw of emotion in your soul. This is the best novel I have read in three years.”—Herald de Paris
“Deborah Henry’s The Whipping Club echoes in my thoughts the way only a truly great novel can resonate. Eloquent yet never mannered, it captures the four corners of the Irish psyche: mirth, love, fortitude and tragedy. Now stop reading the review and buy the bloody book.”—San Francisco Book Review
“Henry dives headlong into deep, often dark issues with the consummate skill and finesse of a seasoned writer.”
—MPH Quill Magazine – Malaysia and Western Australia
“Henry’s debut novel is immensely assured, grabbing the reader from the first page. It’s the kind of debut that publishers dream of, confident, clear and appealing to a wide audience.”
–Cahir O’Doherty, longtime arts editor for The Irish Voice, Irish America and IrishCentral.com
“Author Deborah Henry has said about the writing of her debut novel: “I wrote The Whipping Club because what I found hidden, I needed to uncover.” An understatement, no doubt, as first novels of this scope aren’t written by merely turning over a rock. That had to be at very least a sizeable boulder, and the courage to write it equally so.”
–The Smoking Poet
“Deborah Henry is a natural storyteller and she is far more.
Her novel The Whipping Club is a compelling read, but it also seriously explores the terrible ways the world –as a society, as individuals — often fails its children. And most importantly, her book offers a searingly lovely vision of how wrongs can be made right. Deborah Henry is a splendid young novelist who deserves a wide audience.”
—Pulitzer Prize-winning author Robert Olen Butler
“The Whipping Club is an intimate, assured first novel, the story of Marian McKeever and her child hidden by cruelty and custom. It rings with the authenticity of shame and courage. You can put it down but you will not forget it.”
—Jacquelyn Mitchard, best-selling author of The Deep End of the Ocean
“Deb Henry’s debut novel, The Whipping Club, is a wonderful portrait of a world seldom depicted in fiction, that of a small Jewish enclave in early 20th century Ireland. Echoing Joyce’ Ulysses, the novel nonetheless creates its own compelling vision, peopled by vivid characters and compelling voices. With near pitch-perfect dialogue, the story’s long-buried secrets compel the reader forward in a way that is both intriguing and heart-wrenching. The novel is at once a love story and a tale of redemption, following a brave woman’s struggle not only to fit in a world dominated by bigotry and ignorance, but to succeed and find her own home in the world. The Whipping Club introduces us to a new and exciting voice in fiction.”
—Michael White, best-selling author of Soul Catcher and Beautiful Assassin
“The Whipping Club at once evokes a hauntingly beautiful literary landscape, engaging me immediately. Henry writes with great passion, deep vulnerability and sharpest prose about perils and plights, joy and triumph. Commanding a winsome literary voice, Henry would go far to tell many a tale. And she should.”
—Da Chen, best-selling author of Colors of the Mountain and Sounds of the River
“The Whipping Club, which is set in 1960s Ireland, is a family drama that unflinchingly confronts prejudice and violence in Catholic orphanages, in the ghettoized Jewish community, and in Northern Irish Troubles. The world’s madness plays out in Marian and Ben’s family. Through their secrets and lies come redemption and hope. Deborah Henry is a novelist who is fearless in her gaze and compassionate in her heart. This book is on fire.”
—Martine Bellen, author of The Vulnerability of Order
“Deborah Henry’s The Whipping Club gripped me from the beginning. Henry beautifully evokes the terrifying journey in and out of church-run systems in a heart wrenching and lyrical manner. She creates a frighteningly authentic world of authority gone mad and the long term effects of abuse. Her provocative novel is very timely in today’s Ireland which still suffers from the ghosts of those whose lives were destroyed. Yet what makes Deborah’s book so unique is that she transcends the horror and gives us the hope of the human spirit through her words and her characters. Henry has a great future ahead of her. A beautiful writer and a stunning debut.”?—Alan Cooke, Irish filmmaker and writer, winner of a 2009 Emmy for Home
Exquisitely written, unflinching and spare, The Whipping Club is the haunting portrait of a family that challenges a system whose chilling atrocities toward children are at once beyond comprehension and altogether real. Deborah Henry is a gifted storyteller. The steely realism of her prose, her fiercely drawn characters and startling plot twists make The Whipping Club one of those rare novels that linger in the mind long after the last page is turned.
—Dawn Tripp, best-selling author of Game of Secrets
“Harrowing, haunting, and brilliantly written, Henry’s stunner of a novel is about secrets, so-called sins, and the way even the deepest scars can begin to heal. So breathtakingly good it seems burned into your heart.”
—Caroline Leavitt, New York Times bestselling author of Pictures of You
“A story of survival, redemption, and the courage that is born of love. One of my favorite reads of the decade!”
—Susan Henderson, author of Up From The Blue
“Deb Henry is a writer of impressive parts adding up to an irresistible whole: an ear for dialogue, an eye for what body language reveals, and the heart of a natural storyteller who knows how to keep readers reading.”
—Lary Bloom, playwright and author of The Writer Within
Chris Belden’s novel Carry-on was published in January 2012 by Rain Mountain Press.
In this dark and achingly funny debut novel, Chris Belden chronicles one man’s dizzying spiral into obsession and loneliness after the sudden breakup of his marriage. Bereft and plagued by anxiety, Caleb journeys from heat wave-stricken New York City to the Pacific Northwest in search of relief, self-discovery and love, only to find that we always drag our baggage with us—literally and figuratively.
Click here to see a Q&A with the author about the novel.
“Osborn’s powerful novel, set during the dog days of summer in a small Midwestern town in 1967, begins with a bang when a man bombs the drugstore employing his estranged wife. The tragedy devastates a community just beginning to feel the repercussions of the escalating Vietnam War and the growing civil rights movement, and Osborn focuses on four individuals to map the intersections of local drama and a world in upheaval. Already troubled by decisions confronting members of his flock, a minister falls from grace when the presumed dead bomber surreptitiously seeks his counsel. The minister’s own daughter narrowly escaped the bombing, a coincidence that leaves her confused and ignites her adolescent anger and angst, framing her as a compelling window into the ’60s youth movement. The druggist’s widow quells her grief with an act of redemptive creation, and a policeman desperately hunts the bomber, all the while struggling to train the force’s first black officer amid an atmosphere of casual racism. Osborn (Patchwork), employing a restrained ruthlessness, maintains the tension throughout, and appropriately refuses easy outs for a satisfying conclusion.” From Publisher’s Weekly
For more information, please go to: http://www.karenosborn.net/
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