This month we are ramping up for a very busy publishing season, with eleven (yes, 11!) titles confirmed and under contract to publish over the next nine months. Several more are under contract negotiations to expand our catalog well into 2017.
Here is a sampling:
Sahara Freezing, by J. Scott Feldman
With all the incisive emotional whirlwind of Ishiguro’s When We Were Orphans and written in a gritty style reminiscent of Pahlaniuk’s Lullaby, the Japanese underworld begets the joining of a couple whose child becomes inflicted with pituitary cancer. In a controversial procedure of last resort, her doctors implement a truly shocking and revolutionary stem cell protocol distilled from glacial moss. The child’s journey across the globe in a struggle to survive takes her from Montreal to Hokkaido, the Falklands to war-torn Africa. For Sahara, tragic world events collide with science, love, betrayal, and destiny, jeopardizing not only her own survival, but ultimately affecting the fate of every woman on Earth.
Acropolis, by Howard Winn
After fighting the “Good War,” a small group of soldiers enters Vassar College, previously a women-only institution, courtesy of the GI Bill and each attempts to settle in to civilian life. The clash of cultures between privileged and working classes combined with personal struggles with PTSD, survivor’s guilt, and simple readjustment battles amid the creative intellectual world of higher education makes for an engaging tale, as young men struggling to recapture lives disrupted by war encounter the beginnings of the McCarthy red hunt years. The response of the students and the Vassar administration to politically-motivated attacks upon academic freedom, free speech and freedom of thought blur long-held beliefs of patriotism and service, as the men are exposed through their college studies to the thinking of Rheinhold Niebuhr and others who question the nature of war, nationalism and aggression.
Parade of Shades, by Jewel Hopson
All her life Karen Baker reacts to people who either praise or resent her tawny complexion. When her mother abandons the family, a biracial (Arab/White) woman from the Big Brothers-Big Sisters’ mentor program briefly steps into place and the encounter begins a change in Karen. She quickly learns that everything has a price. For instance, her entertainment choices are even more unpopular among her classmates than her vocabulary. Lacking a sense of belonging, Karen feels misunderstood in high school and defensive in college. Her failed romances with men of various ethnic groups make her life worse. Her problems follow her into the business world as Karen leaves Homewood, Pittsburgh’s largest ghetto. As she journeys through her life, she gives up the idea that light skin and long hair are the main definitions of beauty. She also stops believing college graduates are better than people who do not have an advanced education. As in Passin’ by Karen E. Quinones Miller and Good Hair by Benilde Little, this coming-of-age novel explores African-Americans’ internal color and cultural discrimination.
The Revlon Slough, by Ray DiZazzo
A collection of engaging and thought-provoking poems by this talented writer, artist and poet, who in striving to find a voice and some level of acceptance, stumbled onto the works of Robert Peters, James Dickey and Margaret Atwood. The subsequent years found him scribbling lines of verse in quiet moments and during half-stolen pauses of a busy life. We found them delightful, strong, dark, honest, and some disturbing in a powerful, clean sort of way that strikes deep at the heart of all of us. We believe you will find something here that touches you in similar fashion, and leaves you with much to think about in your own journeys.
The Fortunate and the Damned, by Susannah Eanes
“A continuation of acquaintances begun in Lucky Southern Women…” Here Phoebe still is learning that secrets can and will out, that Sophie has a lot of fight left, and that the nicest of people can harbor the darkest of intentions. Kenyon Marks has by no means forgotten her, no matter what his Mama thinks. He shows up at the most inopportune times to firmly but respectfully show her her own shortcomings, addressing racism and ignorance at its core – where Phoebe (the realist) struggles to accept reality for the first time in her life. Sophie’s husband and soulmate Aaron, meanwhile, is off fighting a war half a world away, and has his own reckonings to resolve, culminating in an horrific and dangerous manhunt through the sultry, reeking, mosquito-infested swamps near Fort Jackson, South Carolina.
This short list is the partial result of over two years of consistent, careful work between our editors, graphics team, and the authors themselves. Congratulations to all of you! Here’s to the best year yet.