Wiseblood Books Publishing Calendar
The Unfinished Life of N. by Micah Cawber: In the tradition of Flannery O'Connor, The Unfinished Life of N. scrutinizes the quiet ambitions of normal people, their everyday fictions concerning others' and their own humanity and goodness, as it follows Nafula, the innocent but not naïve protagonist, from the backwoods of Wisconsin to AIDS-stricken regions of sub-Saharan Africa, and, at last, through rehabilitation at a Mental Health home. Nafula is the granddaughter of a local-celebrity preacher whose church-without-a-church religion plays a large part in propelling her into HIV/AIDS work in Africa. As does that same grandfather's sexual abuse. Her on-the-ground work in Africa, which has left her disillusioned over her capacity to be a “helper,” chafes against her small town's blend of faith-cloaked mediocrity, embodied in the young preacher who has taken over her grandfather's church. The novel next flashes through a series of extended vignettes that take us to the heart of her work in Ugandan and Mozambican orphanages and compounds, the near-death experiences that stoked already latent mental illnesses. Finally, The Unfinished Life of N. takes us closest to the present, when, now a medicated manager of a retail store, Nafula runs into one of her old orphanage co-workers. Their conversation and mutual attraction take us to the novel's final turn: an unexpected “romantic” encounter that, paradoxically, catalyzes hope, and an openness to the terrible speed of mercy.
On October 1, 2013 The Unfinished Life of N. will be available for Purchase via Amazon or www.wisebloodbooks.com on October 1st. Pre-order Micah Cawber's novel here for only $10.00.
A Flower in the Heart of the Painting, a collection of short stories by award-winning author Amy Krohn. Set almost exclusively in the rural heart of the Midwest, A Flower in the Heart of the Painting is populated by a cast of quiet characters whose land and interior lives are brought into full relief. Like Tolstoi and Cather, Krohn draws us into unassuming, ordinary dramas in order to reveal that, in spite of our best efforts to live compartmentalized, comfortable lives loosened from the transcendent, everything is at stake.
On November 1, 2013 A Flower in the Heart of the Painting will be available for purchase via Amazon or www.wisebloodbooks.com.
In A Waste of Shame and Other Sad Tales of the Appalachian Foothills Geoffrey Smagacz debuts a novella and an accompanying collection of short stories written in a vein that carries the blood of Hemingway, Wodehouse, Nathaniel West. 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, and breathes new breath into that particular tradition of regionalism launched with the publication of Sherwood Anderson's Winesburg, Ohio.
On December 15, 2013 A Waste of Shame and Other Sad Tales of the Appalachian Foothills will be available for purchase via Amazon or www.wisebloodbooks.com.
Sand, Smoke, Current by Robert Vander Lugt, an award-winning author whose stories are steeped in down-to-earth profundity, driven by conflicts that beg characters to strip away pretense in favor of that freedom obtained by unflinching acceptance of weakness and grace. Assessing his own work, Vander Lugt finds that “Midwesterners populate my stories, solid folks, who process life through the lens of long, dark winters and short bursts of spring, summer and autumn. They are people well-acquainted with the rhythms of church life. If they are not members themselves, they were once, and Christian tradition clings to them like sandburs. The undercurrent of religion works on their motivations, tugging and restraining and pushing, in the same way the cold waters of Lake Michigan shape the shoreline.”
On January 1, 2014 Sand, Smoke, Current will be available for purchase via Amazon or www.wisebloodbooks.com.
Forthcoming in 2014
The Oracles Fell Silent by Lee Oser: When the legendary Sir Ted Pop hires young Richard Bellman as his secretary, Bellman’s work on the great man’s memoir transforms his young life into a divine comedy—or is it a devilish farce? In a New York beach house in Southampton, Bellman treads the forbidden ground of Ted’s final hour with his partner in fame, who “fell” from a London rooftop in 1969. Sir Ted battles false prophets and mad messiahs for control over his story, but what rock’s biggest mystery reveals to Bellman is the unthinkable hand of God.
“You think Johnny understood his fate when he fell? You think you understand your fate, or I understand mine? Your story will be written, all right, but not by you. It will be written by someone you could never buy, and you wouldn’t like the narrative. Not that it matters, but you would scarcely recognize yourself, not since you lost your soul on its great crusade to nowhere.”
We are wide-eyed for new epiphanies of beauty.