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Ancestors

Description In Ancestors, Hawkins, a man adrift, finds himself in a Native American homeland called Chaco Canyon, a place of relics haunted by history. He is besieged by voices revealing memories of other lives, including those of his immediate family, truths he had never known: “Like something out of a dream. He could see it, those stone dwellings high on the cliff, speaking of those who had been there who knows when. And who were they? Ancestors, the voice said . . .” Hawkins learns the painful histories of the generations of his origins, who he is, and the quest he must fulfill in spite of the obstacles in his path and temptation to give in and run from the challenges facing him. Ancestors completes Gladys Swan’s Southwestern trilogy, following Ghost Dance and A Dark Gamble, novels also available from Serving House Books. Author Information Gladys Swan has published three novels, Carnival for the Gods, (Vintage Contemporaries Series), Ghost Dance: A Play of Voices, (LSU Press, nominated for the PEN/Faulkner Award), and A Dark Gamble, as well as seven collections of short fiction. Her poetry and essays, and short stories have appeared in many literary magazines and anthologies. Much of her work is set in New Mexico, where she grew up. Though she has spent most of her career as a writer, she has devoted much of her time during the last two decades to painting and exploring the creative process. Read more…

Being

It’s a winter of snow of mythic proportions. Caught in Kierkegaard’s aesthetic stage, Philip Fellows is meanwhile happy to be immured inside with his lover—free to dodge undesirable work—as he seeks continual sensual pleasure. All the while he is being tracked by a mysterious man in black, who eventually informs him he’s in despair. If Philip isn’t ready for Kierkegaard’s second stage, the ethical, he nonetheless becomes captivated by the beauty of a woman who is given to ramping up an ultra-rational, principled approach to the sexual. Read more…

Paris, Etc.

A collection of poems, stories and essays that explore what Paris means to writers who have visited and lived in this fascinating city. These are works that are jubilant, despondent, flippant, stuck, liberated, devastated, bored, solitary, joyous, in love—that explore, in short, a wide rambling space that is not just tragedy or fantasy, but all the life that happens in between. Read more…

No Rule That Isn’t a Dare

I offer up, in summation, writer/director Ron Shelton’s refutation of a younger generation of filmmakers’ blind allegiance to “Show, don’t tell.” “(The) old canard that action defines character is only partly true,” Shelton argued in an interview. “Hamlet wasn’t doing a whole lot when he said, ‘To be or not to be. Read more…

There’s This Place I Know

This book shares an abundance of delightful discoveries. As a viewer-reader, you can’t be sure where the journey will take you next. At one moment you’re intrigued by a green vista that’s next to a close-up of a bird on a patch of parched earth. Turn the page and you’re caught up in the white flow of a waterfall. You never know where you’ll end up as you travel through There’s This Place I Know … It could be in the Swiss Alps or above Parisian rooftops or on the Maine coast or just on a front porch that entices you with a checkered tablecloth. But this book offers much more than photographs. These photos are inseparable from the people who chose them to illustrate spots in the world—their worlds—so vital to their lives. That human connection deepens the significance of the pictures. They invite us into places where the external is the internal and allow us to experience both. Read more…

Chance Encounters of a Literary Kind

Robert Day has invented a new form, the Chance Encounters of a Literary Kind memoirs–brief, whimsical, sometimes touching, reminiscences about his brushes (often friendships) with literary greatness. He treats Shakespeare, William Stafford, Mavis Gallant, John Barth, Ray Carver, Walter Bernstein, and Michael de Montaigne. Some he met and knew in person; others he met in his mind. But the collision is sparkling in its reverent irreverence, airy, gossamer-thin, a playful and informal jeu d’esprit that takes itself not very seriously, yet with flashes of seriousness and wit. Read more…

Steve Kowit: This Unspeakably Marvelous Life

In Steve Kowit: This Unspeakably Marvelous Life, four editors and numerous poets and essayists pool their understanding of and admiration for a brilliant poet/ essayist/ teacher/ animal-rights advocate/ political activist and self-proclaimed “all-around no good troublemaker” who died April 2, 2015. The contributors to this collection have created an anthology that is also something of a biography, encomium, accolade, homage, and love-song for a master who deeply touched their lives and, in many cases, changed their art—always for the better, they say again and again in their acknowledgments. Dear Reader, you hold a luminous book in your hands. It is full of wisdom and humor. A touch of sadness here and there. Some poems and/or essays may make you wistful; others may make you laugh out loud; and certainly many will make you examine your own judgments and beliefs. Turn the page and welcome to the world of Steve Kowit. Edited by Duff Brenna, Walter Cummins, Clare MacQueen, and R. A. Read more…

The Winter Dance Party Murders

With his customary pyrotechnics, Herriges gives us a “what if” tale written in a swift, agile manner that has become his signature style over the course of seven luminous novels. So you thought Buddy Holly died in a plane crash in 1959, right? Rudolph Kearns, aka Rudy Keen, begs to differ. Keen, a striving rock and roll song writer and musician, narrates an alternate history concerning some of the greatest singers of the 50?s and 60?s. He has the inside scoop on numerous Rock giants: Del Shannon, Sam Cooke, Richie Valens, the Big Bopper and a wealth of other famous singers. Keen manages to write his own hit song, but nothing turns out the way he dreamed it would. Between the lines, Herriges seems to be reminding us to be careful what we wish for and be careful not to take any agents or record producers (or film producers either) at face value. Read more…

Surviving the Twenty-First Century

Parenting, Corporate Thievery, Aging, Technology, Ideals – one might easily feel overwhelmed. Read more…

Ghost Dance: A Play of Voices

As Chloride, a dying New Mexican mining town, whirls toward a rendezvous with truth, its people find themselves precariously balanced between a lost past of blood-deep spirituality and an unknowable, terrifying future, between the world of drama and the drama of the world. A filmmaker trying to turn his disillusionment into truth; a once celebrated film star who disappears; a look-alike who takes her place; a trickster who enjoys the chaos he creates around him are all part of the play. In this eerie, beautifully crafted novel, Gladys Swan presents an impressionistic palimpsest of myth and modem life. The present is revealed as only a play of light and shadow over a ghost dance that—tenu¬ously—ensures the world’s continued exis¬tence. Part history, part myth, part meditation on truth and illusion, the novel reveals a kaleidoscope of plots and subplots, each refracted through the perceptions—the voices—of a cast of characters as intriguing as the Southwest itself. Read more…