From the publisher’s site:
A young boy internalizes the burden of responsibility for his best friend’s unstoppable death. A sister molds herself into a living memorial to her brother, becoming both mystic and pragmatist, ascetic and sensualist. A mother, through rituals both musical and spiritual, counterpoints herself between feeling too at home in her grief and wishing her son’s ghost will finally leave her alone. And at the center: Joshua Sams, alive and then dead in the fall of 1982, linchpinning together the lives of those who loved him most as they struggle through the visceral permutations of regret, denial, and resignation, the desperate reach toward spiritual rebirth and the failure to be reborn.
Other details of note:
- The first pages of the first draft were written during a food-safety course (taught in Italian) at the Agenform School in Moretta, Italy while in the company of Patrick Kiley (who would later go on to found Pilot Editions and publish To Sleep as Animals, Brand New Moon, and In the Mines).
- Certain elements of the novel tie into existing works of fiction—including To Sleep as Animals and One Thousand Owls Behind Your Chest—as well as the extended narrative of my musical alter-ego Old Fat God.
- I had to learn a lot about Jewish holidays in order to write the third chapter, “Awake, O You Sleepers.”
- While the theme of sleep is clearly further explored, I’m pretty sure there are no horses in this book (though I might very well be wrong).
- The title comes from the misreading a book found in shop in Saluzzo, Italy (also in the company of Patrick Kiley, mere days after beginning the first draft).
- Despite being purely a work of fiction, this might be the most personal work I have yet to release.
Given the foolhardiness of attempting to compete with winter holidays, a major public launch party will be postponed until sometime in early 2020. In the meantime, if you have an itch to hear me read from this in your community—be it at your library, alternative-arts center, or cozy little living room—please feel free to reach out with an invitation. I would, in fact, be delighted to hear from you.
As always, thank you for reading, thank you for sharing, thank you for being the bobbing piece of fuselage keeping me afloat dead-center of a storm-swept sea.