Friday, May 22, 2015

Counternarratives Now Officially In Stores

Signing first editions
at the Strand Bookstore, in their
Rare Book Room
Last night's reading at the Brooklyn Museum was special not only because of the opportunity to read with friends and fellow writers Erica Doyle and Chris Stackhouse as part of the "Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks" exhibit, but also because it occurred on what was my official book publication day!

I have had a few copies since early May, and am thoroughly pleased with the beautiful job that everyone at New Directions did with the book, including some tricky typographical elements that they resolved with aplomb. (It turns out that one very brief story in the collection, "Persons and Places," which features none other that W. E. B. Du Bois and George Santayana, proved a challenge for e-book formatting because of its double columns, which e-books cannot--though apps can--reproduce with ease, except as image files, which means no scrolling, but ND figured out a method for presenting it in e-book format that I'm quite happy with.)

Counternarratives has already begun shipping to readers across the country (and overseas), but it is now officially in bookstores, so if you are so inclined, please drop by your nearest independent bookstore, or even Barnes & Noble, and pick up a copy, and if Amazon is the most convenient option, please order from them. (And if you have a bit of money to spare, buy another recently published work of fiction or poetry to help other authors out.) 

Tynan Kogane, in the Strand
Bookstore's rare book room,
with copies of Counternarratives
A week back, I met up with New Direction's Tynan Kogane at The Strand to sign copies of Counternarratives for their Signed First Editions Subscriptions program, in which store employees select three texts--a work of fiction, a work of young adult fiction, and a work featuring visual art--from which subscribers pick one, 5 or 10 times a year, to be sent to them. It sounds like an excellent program, and if you are building up a library of contemporary literature an optimal way to do so. Many thanks to the Strand and Brianna for picking Counternarratives for this program!

Also airing yesterday was a very brief conversation I participated in with journalist Willis Ryder Arnold for St. Louis Public Radio (WKMU) about Counternarratives. Our discussion focused on the story "Rivers," which flashes forward in the life of Jim from Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, with a few detours into black Roman Catholics and the necessity of challenging master narratives, particularly ones that have become American "truths." I can't listen to my own voice on the radio, but C and others have said it's a good interview, so many thanks to Willis Arnold and everyone at WKMU who edited it into coherence. If you go to the WKMU, you can also hear a brief clip of me reading from "Rivers." Enjoy!

Below is a listing of upcoming readings and conversations I'll be participating in. Please do come out to these events if you can. So far I've also lined up potential readings for the fall in Baltimore and parts west. As more readings materialize I'll let you know, and if you have an open slot in your series, do consider me and Counternarratives

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