Go tell it on the foothills: On December 15, 2013, Wiseblood Books will release its third original publication, A Waste of Shame and Other Sad Tales of the Appalachian Foothills, by Geoffrey Smagacz. Until December 14 you can pre-order a copy for only $11.00 and learn more about the author HERE or HERE. Orders will ship on December 15.
As the Russian great Anton Chekov infamously noted, when a loaded rifle appears on page one, it absolutely must go off. In A Waste of Shame Geoffrey Smagacz does not ignore this dramatic principle. Before the last page is turned, someone sadly pulls the trigger.
Smagacz debuts a short novel and an accompanying collection of short stories written in a vein that carries the blood of Hemingway, Wodehouse, West, and Sherwood Anderson. Enter a small town where tragedy collides with fish fry cooks, soap-opera addicts, and the convenient but strained friendships of youth. Minimalist through and through, this is literary fiction that scrupulously avoids being literary.
In M.A. Peterson's review, forthcoming in the next edition of Dappled Things magazine, he muses on one of Smagcz's greatest authorial gifts—the capacity to reckon with human depravity without indulging in despair or unjust judgment of character:
Consider for a moment how readers might react to characters such as those we find in A Waste of Shame after they've had such a prodigious helping of Jerry Springer. Will readers still be able to find in these characters the epitome of the human condition, or will they just see a bunch of hillbillies who need to stop drinking, smoking, and cheating on their wives? Will they still sympathize with our narrator, Kevin, or will they just want him to get off his rear and go back to college and get a real job? These are questions that Smagacz openly wrestles with.
FINALLY, WISEBLOOD BOOKS IS STILL CARRYING ON ITS FIRST OFFICIAL FUNDRAISING CAMPAIGN, THE CULTURE YOU SAVE MAY BE YOUR OWN. LEARN MORE ABOUT US AND MAKE A DONATION HERE. Since the start of our campaign we have forged a number of incredible partnerships with brilliant, generous people. We are poised to appear on a much broader map. Stay wide-eyed for more news, for new epiphanies, and thank you, thank you so very much!
Joshua Hren, Ph.D.