Thursday, September 10, 2020

Pandemic Meditations: Let's Play and Nights in a Pandemic by Grace June

For the next many weeks, at least through March, artists of all ilks will be sharing creative work that was done and/or responds to the pandemic in some way. To learn more about the Pandemic Meditation series--its background, impetus, and purpose, please read the Editor's Note in the first piece in the series.

Today, Spokane photographer Grace June shares a new poem and a new photograph series. I met Grace during her creation of the Survive Project, which you can learn more about in her bio, at the end.

As always, please share this work and the series with your friends and family by clicking on the web link at the top of your browser, copying it, and sharing it through email or social media. I hope that the series is one way that we can find each other during these new times. -EP

๐Ÿ˜ท

Let's Play

by Grace June

Pretend I’m a camera and look at me like

I just want to see you


Not you the voter

Not you the parent

Not you the Christian

Not you the artist

Not you my family

Not you, someone I love who thinks people I also love are verifiable terrorists or totally ignorant and hateful piles of misguidance due to a single letter. 


Pretend I’m a camera and I want to completely see you


Not you protesting

Not you protesting protesters

Not you protesting protesters who protest protesters

Not you and your red hat 

Not you and your hateful or loving (perspective pending) funeral signage

Not you and your loudspeaker 

Not you and your crowd shouting over the loudspeaker


Not you or your great hair and nails stepping out of your Benz

Not your shoes with holes with your sun worn fingers clutching a crumpled sign

Not you listening to me for hours and years as I heal

Not you and your status as a business owning entrepreneurial badass

Not your conspiracies that maybe offer the comfort of certainty

Not a post of an avocado toast smoothie graphic on a cat sweater

Our collective 300 bites of sushi over lunchtime therapy. With dessert.

Pretend I’m a camera and none of that makes a difference to me,

Other than appreciating the gift of your time and existence.


Pretend I’m a camera and I see us as something somewhat infrared

Extremely nonphysical and not at all Newtonian


Pretend I’m a camera and I want you to look at me like I’m a mirror

Or a blank wall

Or your child 

Or best friend

Or favorite movie.


Pretend I’m a camera and if you could show only me or maybe the entire universe

This one thing

Your face without light as you lie awake in bed

What would you look like? 


Pretend I’m a camera without a memory card and we both have just an instant to see your face or better still what your face isn’t, what face would you make? 


Pretend I’m a camera and I can’t hear you, what would you say? Would you still stand by your side?


Pretend there are no cameras. Pretend no one knows your name. Pretend you never had one. Pretend there is no mirror and no single reflective surface. Would you still be aware of yourself? 


Pretend I’m a camera that needs no performance. 


Pretend I’m not wearing a mask. Pretend the mask isn’t a physical and emotional barrier. Pretend that a global pandemic isn’t spreading both coronavirus and violence. Or the flu caused by 5G. Cameras really aren’t experts. 


Pretend for a moment that you don’t give a damn how I vote.


Pretend I’m your granddaughter who you took on walks with fluffy little dogs along pastures in the rain. 


Pretend I’m your daughter whose hand you held while my chubby legs tried to wobble on their own in long damp grass, springtime in springtime. 


Pretend I’m your sister who would do anything for you. Pretend it doesn’t and can’t matter that something as trivial and unimportant as beliefs make us any different than two kids playing hide and seek outside in the forest with dense ferns and branches letting us surprise each other. 


For solace or simple curiosity, as a camera I wander in empty parking lots at night looking at pretty multicolored lights, so empty and cold, silent with no news playing on anything anywhere. I don’t even wear a mask, because I’m alone. And because I’m a camera. 


Pretend you’re a camera and you live in the United States in 2020 in the Pacific Northwest in a town that’s not too big or too small, pretend that your friends are all on the right side and most of your family is also on the right side, it’s just a different right side from your friends’ right side and pretend that to be honest with any of them would have severe consequences exacerbated by under-medicated paranoia so no matter what you say to whomever you’re convinced actual loss could happen if you share how you really feel about just wanting to love and exist and drink in the most spare moments we get less and less of together. 


And sides just detract from the actual problems. Like systemic prejudice and injustice.


Pretend I’m a camera who didn’t realize neutral isn’t an actual setting. 


Pretend I’m a camera, pick me up and flip the screen so you can look at yourself. Maybe you’re a flower. Maybe you’re a house. Maybe you’re a Labrador. Maybe you’re a child of God. Maybe you’re very, very, serious. 


Pretend I’m a camera and I wanted to write something for you that would be impactful. Something that would matter even though I’m a camera who for a living questions what matters. The existential wonderment of being raised to an eye and triggered with a finger. 


I’m just a camera without a photographer. 


And I want. 


*


Nights in a Pandemic

by
Grace June















(Note: Please contact Grace June for permission before using any of the above photographs.)

๐Ÿ’Œ



Grace June
photo by Phil June

Grace June grew up in Alaska and now lives in Spokane where she works as writer, visual artist, and insurance professional. 

For the past seven years, Grace has been creating self-portraits both for enjoyment and as an approach to mental-health recovery. In 2018, she received a grant through Spokane Arts that funded Survive, a photo and book project about suicide survivors in Spokane. Thirty of 100 books were donated to Spokane Public Schools. 

Grace and her husband Phil have two cats, and although the four of them are deeply introspective and philosophical, the whole family absolutely loves binging TV pretty much on a nightly basis, mostly as escapist anesthetization in order to maintain a semblance of sanity. Learn more about her work at https://gracejuneimagery.com/

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Pandemic Meditations: In the golden time between sleeping and awake by Felix Morgan

Editor's Note: On the Origin of Pandemic Meditations, A Series

Found at the edges of a golf course during the pandemic
photo by Erin Pringle
There are a number of articles, probably whole books, and interview question-answers about Writer's Block--how it occurs, what it feels like, and what tips, tricks, recipes, or spells writers use to make it disappear. Outside of grieving someone fallen by death, I haven't had much trouble writing, hacking out time for it, or moving my thoughts into words and shapes.

And then the pandemic came.

And now I have trouble connecting thoughts, or seeing the connections, or remembering that there should be relationships between them. I have trouble creating time and space to work within. Now and then I'll have an interview about my new novel, and I'm asked what I'm currently working on. I wave vaguely. I try to remember. A novel, I think. Stories, too, maybe. Whereas, before the pandemic, I not only knew what I was working on, but I also knew its trajectory--from about how many pages it would take before reaching The End--to how many months or years it would take to formulate those pages. 

What am I working on? 

I don't know. I mean, I'm running a lot. I run and run and run. I take pictures while I run. 

But writing? 

I don't know.

The other day, I bought a journal at Target during one of my first visits there in months. It used to be that having a new journal--all that blank space--would inevitably lead to my writing in it, in the same way a ripe fruit calls to the tongue. 

So far, I've written on one page, and I don't think it's a full page. Nothing about the page calls me. Not its blankness, not the smooth feeling of a fast pen, not even thoughts (because I'm not having them). I carry the journal around in my bag. It's so heavy with guilt I can feel my shoulder ache.

A month or so into the pandemic and into Washington state's stay-home/stay-safe order, I stopped teaching at the preschool-kindergarten where I spend my days in the art room, on the playground, and at the lunch table with my small friends. Instead, I walked for hours on trails by the river. I walked and walked, not at all noticing that after my sister died, I walked and walked. After my best friend died, I walked and walked. After my father? I walked and walked. 

Several months passed of my walking but not teaching. Then one day I went to the school on an errand, and I saw all the children.

There they were!

They yelled out Miss Erin! and we stood at a distance in the doorway, admiring each other and talking about our lives. I commented on their new heights, for certainly they'd continued to grow despite the pandemic. They told me they were now in first grade. They told me of projects. One was reading chapter books now. One had done the hundreds board all by herself. They told me and told me, and I heard under all their words how much we needed to be together. When I left the building a handful of minutes later, I felt full the brightness of our reunion and the utter loss from having been apart; and I realized I'd been living the way I do when someone I love has died: I'd distanced myself, cut off all emotions and memories, severed all of that part of myself so that I could daily undertake my life. 

Spokane river near sunset, during pandemic
by Erin Pringle
And all that severing and floating away from myself and them, upon seeing them, returned me to the flat, hard ground of earth and to the feelings I'd avoided having as I walked long hours along the river trails thinking of everything that wasn't worldwide disease, that wasn't fears of death, that wasn't the personal devastation of losing not only routine but also all the connections to people and community that were required for having thoughts that connected to each other and allowed the artful self to reflect, think, remember, and create.  

In sum, I'd disconnected my emotions and thoughts of them so that I could cope. 

In sum, I'd not realized I'd done any of this until I saw them.

In sum, I had started doing what I do when I'm mourning.

I'm in a state of mourning. Of course. Why didn't I realize it sooner? 

That's when I wondered if other artists were feeling similarly disoriented by the pandemic. Early in the pandemic, I saw that writers were responding to the pandemic in the local weekly. But then the responses stopped but the pandemic continued. 

And continued. 

And continues. 

On social media, there are arguments and wishful reminders of kindness. There's a mudslide of memes and fewer photographs of ourselves doing what we love because so much of what we love is closed, is unsafe, is full of uncertain possibility.

Now and then, the news returns us to scene of the pandemic--from the Italian doctor who had slept at his hospital for months before momentarily returning to his family--to the mobile morgues--to the new cases of children--to the denials and stories of why the pandemic isn't a pandemic, why masks are useless or necessary or awful or just-wear-it-for-gods'sake. The scene of the pandemic, despite our living in it, is no place to stay for very long without undergoing national, worldwide, and personal sadness all at once. It's a place of stasis, confusion, and only fleeting clarity. 

Which, to me, means that we need artists the most when we find ourselves in such a state. Because it has always been the artists' task to communicate the world in a way that helps us better situate ourselves and others within it.

Because I need artists right now, I imagine that you do too.

So I wrote to my friends who are writers and artists. And I asked them to send me meditations on the pandemic. I said I'm blocked and maybe you are too, so let's try a series of essays or meditations or moments in which we are writing at the pandemic. 

And I received replies. So many replies. The result is that this will likely be the longest, continuous running series I've done here. There are pandemic meditations booked from now through March, and I continue to receive more confirmations. Perhaps there is some comfort in knowing that, despite not knowing when the pandemic will end, I don't know when the artists will stop sending me meditations. I think it's comforting.  

Observation during a pandemic by Erin Pringle
As such, once or twice a week, from now on, I'll be publishing creative responses to the pandemic, from poets, book editors, musicians, actors, photographers, painters, rap artists, and illustrators. I gave no guidelines on form, on length, on style. If I've learned anything from mourning and that inability to write that comes with it, guidelines are the opposite of helpful. No one is required to share hope, though some might. No one is required to reach great wisdom about this new way of living, though some might. Everyone has been asked to respond honestly in the way good art always asks of us.

There will be fiction writers who share short films, and photographers who share poetry. When the world has lost clear form, genre will too--which is exciting in the way of sitting in a box on a new roller coaster.

Today, the series begins with a pandemic meditation from writer Felix Morgan. I first met her when the both of us contributed to a chapbook series through Awst Press. Felix lives in Austin, Texas, and you can learn more about her at the end of her piece. 

It's my hope that the meditations will help us connect words to thoughts and us to each other, if even for a moment.

~ Erin Pringle

September 7, 2020

Spokane, WA

While walking in a pandemic
by Erin Pringle


๐Ÿ˜ท

In the golden time between sleeping and awake 

by Felix Morgan 

These are excerpts from my journal since March. When life gets overwhelming, I make lists or write poems (or poems that are lists, or lists that are poems) but mostly this year I have blank pages. I create an entry, in my digital closet, and then I don’t know what to say, and it just stays there in the cloud, with only a date. I have maybe a hundred of these. And even while trying to string a few entries together here, I worry. About all the negative space, that these are too many words or not enough. That they are too much about me and not all the tragedy in the world. That I sound too serious or not serious enough. For me, these past few months have been a constant pendulum of feeling that I am always either over or under-reacting. But this is what I have, these are the words I have, and this is the space I’ve left--for when there are no words, for when I can only feel, and for when I need to listen. 


March  


Things I don’t worry have to worry about 


Charging my phone 

because I’m never out of the house long enough for it to matter 

Makeup or non-comfortable shoes 

Wondering if a different job might be more fulfilling 

Spring fashion trends (high waisted shorts, ugh, and big leafy tiki florals, and denim. Can you even call denim a trend) 

Having too many streaming subscriptions 

Waking up early 

How much gas is in my car 

Dating, babysitters, social things I should go to but don’t want to 

or things I wish I could go to but can’t 

FOMO, in general, we’re all MO now 

Haircuts 

My weight 

Travel plans for work, spending money on vacations and summer camp 

Bras. Like ever. Maybe never again 


April 


I can’t bake because I don’t know how to need

...


Sometimes when I lay down I want to move but I don’t 

Sometimes it’s because there’s a dog or a kid asleep near me 

And if I move they’ll wake up or I’ll have to do something for them 

But sometimes I’m alone 

And I wish I could roll over 

I need one more pillow or one less

But I can’t move and I don’t know what’s keeping me in place 

If I move someone will need something from me 

If I move I’ll need something 




May 


What do I really actually for real need to do today 


Change sheets

A kid or two of laundry 

A lot of rest 

Shower 

Eat a vegetable


Clean car? Not urgent 

Go to target? For what? Really tho?


Why is this list so overwhelming. Just try and take a shower. What is Target going to do for you




June 


“Reflect on your week” prompt.  Spent too much time working but also too much time not working while worrying that I should be working more. I watched TV, passively not even with energy, not even something I loved or that would interest or intrigue me. I slept too much and not enough.


I washed my hair more than once and used lotion on my legs at least once. I took time to be with my brother on zoom and we didn’t do that thing where we feel we have to give a report on our lives or say something profound, we just looked at memes and watched youtube videos. I think I wrote two paragraphs, maybe, last week but I sure thought about not writing for at least an hour every day. 


A single yoga session, half-assed. I wrestled with so many questions and I still don’t have answers. I look old. 



July 


I used to wake up and I’d think about what I wanted, and I used to want things so bad it ached. I thought that if I could imagine them perfectly in the golden time between sleeping and awake where my consciousness is a runny egg, then I could bring them with me into the day. I can’t remember what that feels like, I can’t remember the things I tried to manifest. What were the things I thought I’d die if I didn’t achieve? What if I never remember them? What if the world comes back but I don’t?


List: What do I want?  


Dinner plates with lemons on them

What do I want? 

A life making stuff. Or do I even anymore, why am I so mad at myself for not writing what if I just

What if I did every day just what I wanted and nothing more

Would I be a monster 

What if my life was the book instead of the book being the book

And that could be writing but it could also be learning about plants 

Or dancing 

Where can I go dancing 

Does anyone even like dancing if there’s no people to dance with 

I should write



August 



Recipe for crispy chickpeas from Seth 


Drain, rinse, pat dry,

Let them air dry in a single

Layer  (in the fridge uncovered if possible) for about 15-20


Heat some Oil in a non stick pan. 2-3 TBS on med-high (6 or 7) 

Fry chickpeas in oil moving around every 1.5-2 mins by swishing the Pan (or being gentle with a wooden spoon or spatula)

Should take 10-15 mins 

Don’t add too much oil bc it tends to pop

Season with salt and pepper at the end 

I also sprinkle the garam masala but any spice blend is nice


September


Gratitude 


  1. The color of the sky just after the sunset that Ray Bradbury says is between iron and blue 

  2. Ray Bradbury 

  3. My dad (my whole family) 

  4. Johnny Karate’s weird moody facial expressions 

  5. Cold green water 

  6. The shape of a lover’s mouth

  7. Skin serums 

  8. Red toenails 

  9. Cool sheets, a good night's sleep

  10. Reconnecting with old friends even as I worry about what friends I’ve forgotten to check on, and why am I not being a ray of sunshine writing longhand letters to wonderful people instead of watching another season of a show where the Devil solves murders with a model

  11. Big towels 

  12. Twinkle lights 

  13. Mysteries 

  14. Spell check

  15. Knowing I can make a change at any moment, any day, every day, even when I can’t leave the house


๐Ÿ’Œ


Selfie of woman sitting in driver seat. She has dark-rimmed glasses and long, dark wavy hair. She smiles with her lips closed and she has a tattoo on her left shoulder that seems to be the astrology chart.
Felix Morgan
Felix Morgan is a writer, filmmaker, journalist, and content marketer. Her fiction and poetry have been published by Harbinger Quarterly, Awst Press, Tallow Eider Quarterly, and Peach Fuzz Magazine.

She lives in Austin, Texas with two warrior-princess-ninja-superhero daughters and some other wild animals. Learn more about her work at her website: https://www.felixmorgan.net/











❤ As the series grows, you can find more Pandemic Meditations here: http://www.erinpringle.com/p/pandemic-meditations-series.html

Monday, September 7, 2020

On Writing, Rural Life, and Hezada!: Erin Pringle talks about her new novel on KYRS's Art Hour

I recently met with the hosts of Art Hour, a weekly radio show and podcast aired by Spokane's community radio station, KYRS. Because we live in pandemic times and the stale air of a small radio studio isn't the ideal place to record these days, we set up chairs and a folding table on an old stone bridge in Cannon Hill Park. The air was late summer, the sprinklers zipped in circles, and we spoke about my new novel, Hezada! I Miss You. Which means that we talked about growing up in the rural Midwest, the difficulties and benefits of such a life, why the book took a number of years to form, fully, and more. 

The podcast of the episode is available here: https://anchor.fm/arthour/episodes/65-Erin-Pringle---author-of-the-new-novel-Hezada--I-Miss-You-eie7fm

Thanks to Eric and Mike for the time, finding such a nice space, and to Eric for stitching the interview together from the recordings from each of our phones. And, of course, thanks to all the volunteers at the radio station for keeping our community together, no matter the conditions of our lives.

P.S. My friend Shelli has listened to all the interviews for the book and says it's one of the best. 

Cannon Hill Park 

© 

by Steve Saad 
Used with permission


๐Ÿ˜

Sunday, August 30, 2020

Erin Pringle reads from Hezada! I Miss You 8-30-20

 As part of a virtual reading in conjunction with The Vault Art Gallery in Tuscola, IL, I talked about my new novel, Hezada! I Miss You, and I read from chapter one and a bit of two. Please enjoy it here:


Sunday, August 23, 2020

Where to Find/Buy/Read Hezada! I Miss You

Good news! I'm down to six four copies of Hezada! in my personal inventory, so if you'd like a signed copy, now's the time to order through me. Send me a message via erinpringle.com, and I'll message you the details. If you're fine with an unsigned copy, please order through any of the below outlets. 

๐Ÿ˜ Where to Buy Hezada! ๐ŸŽช


1. My publisher Awst Press: Austin, TX​ 

(https://awst-press.com/shop/hezada) 

Buying from Awst means that most of the purchase price goes to the publisher and to the writer. When in doubt of where to buy a book, purchase from its publisher. 

2. Auntie's Bookstore​: Spokane, WA 

If you live in the Spokane area, support this bookstore by purchasing from its shelves. Auntie's has hosted numerous events I've been invited to read at, and they've been supportive in maintaining a steady inventory of all of my books and those of other local writers and small presses. 

3. Fact and Fiction Books​: Missoula, MT 

Fact and Fiction has supported my books and writing through purchasing and selling copies during two Montana Book Festivals, and through hosting a reading and signing for Hezada! early in its publication. The bookstore does much to support the reading and writing community in Missoula, from its inventory to its events to its central support of the annual Montana Book Festival.

4. Book People​: Austin, TX 

When I lived in San Marcos, TX, most all of the national authors would come through Book People to give readings and signings. They go out of their way to stock local authors' books and host a number of local author events, from readings to signings to release parties and more. I read here the first time when I was a finalist for the Austin Chronicle Short Fiction Prize. The next time would be on my tour for The Whole World at Once, and most recently, Hezada! I Miss You. BookPeople purchased a large number of copies and asked for me to sign all of them. So, you would be purchasing a signed copy were you to buy from here. 

5. Amazon 

(https://www.amazon.com/Hezada-Miss-You-Erin-Pringle/dp/0997193883)
Hezada! is available from here, too. 

6. The bookstore nearest you via IndieBound​ (https://www.indiebound.org/book/9780997193886)

If you don't want to purchase Hezada! through the website of your local bookstore, then you can find it (and any book title) through IndieBound, and it will allow you to order that book through  your bookstore or the bookstore nearest you. So IndieBound is a website that connects the book you want to the bookstore you want to buy from.

The distributor is one step away from the publisher/press. This is the company in charge of filling orders from bookstores and libraries. So, any time you pick up a book from a bookstore shelf, a distributor is what got it there. When the store decides it can't sell anymore of a particular title, it returns those books to the distributor at a loss, and those copies are typically not sent out again to be sold. So, while Hezada! is available for individual purchase from the distributor, if you see there are copies of the book at your bookstore, buy from there first.

While this is not an option for private ownership, asking your librarian to purchase a title for its shelves benefits the community and allows the book to be shared with multiple readers who likely wouldn't have heard of the book to begin with. This seems like one of the best options for the environment, readers, press, and writer. It's also a good way to introduce librarians and readers to small presses that they may be unfamiliar with--especially if you live in a rural community where the library counts on its patrons to shape the collection. You can either order the book through your library's website, if it has one, or ask your librarian directly, or use worldcat.org to locate the title and publication information and print off the entry for your librarian.

 

 ๐Ÿ˜ Praise for Hezada! I Miss You ๐ŸŽช

"It's haunting. It's lovely. It's an utterly painful and beautiful look at how life passes. Exploring the consequences of a suicide from those intimately involved to those on the sidelines, Pringle's unflinching view sets a summer circus as a backdrop for everything lost when life is gone." - The Austin Chronicle
"Mournful, funny, piercing, and profound, Erin Pringle's Hezada! I Miss You is a stirring, vivid novel [and] breathtaking work of art." ~ Sharma Shields, author of The Cassandra
"This novel is a lovely meditation on how the inevitability of change and loss is sustained by nostalgia and memory, and survived by that quiet beat of hope that lives in us all." ~ Donna Miscolta, author of Hola and Goodbye

"Set against the fascinating backdrop of a traveling circus, Hezada, I Miss You is a meditation on sorrow—how people deal with it, how they attempt to escape from it, and how, for some, it’s inescapable. It’s a tender novel that should be read slowly, each line given the careful consideration it deserves for the beautiful, heartbreaking insights it holds." 
Rajia Hassib, author of In the Language of Miracles and A Pure Heart

"Brilliant. A heart-wrench of a debut novel. The writing cuts right to the bone, with cadences that sing. Reminiscent of Bradbury and Sherwood Anderson, Pringle's Hezada! I Miss You is a kaleidoscopic vision of love, desire, loss – and life." Regi Claire, author of Fighting It and two-time finalist for Saltire Scottish Book of the Year

"Graceful storytelling and poetic clarity make this an enchanting and absorbing novel. I thought about these characters long after I finished the book. The lightness of touch belies the fact that Erin Pringle is a wise and fearless writer."  ~ Laura Long, author of Out of Peel Tree

"Pringle captures the dynamics of family and small-town community in a way that recalls Tennessee Williams and Flannery O'Connor, yet her voice is lean and smart and entirely her own. Hezada! I Miss You is a powerful narrative about how we reckon with the cages we're born into, or craft for ourselves. What a beautiful gut-punch of a book.” Melissa Stephenson, author of Driven: A White-Knuckled Ride to Heartbreak and Back

"Hezada! is a stunning first novel—quiet and devastating, an elliptical tale of loss and the limitations and failures of a small town. The circus is always on the verge of arrival, and there is something deeply sinister in that." Polly Buckingham, author of Expense of a View

"With the cool-minded skill of a funambulist, the foolhardy courage of a human cannonball, and the secretive, poignant wisdom of a melancholy clown, Erin Pringle will leave you dazzled and bleary-eyed with Hezada! I Miss You. Your lesser half will want to keep this book to yourself. Your better half will want to share its wonders with the world." ~ Tom Noyes, author of Come by Here: A Novella and Stories

Here is a book that gives in novel form—people as stories performing like poems (“Where did your death come from?”) Where language is velocity & mass whereby the turn of phrase is the continually changing way people fall into or out of collective speech, demonstrating how our vulnerabilities to each other can transform into our feeling with others. ~ Julia Drescher, author of Open Epic

“Spare, haunting, as honest as poetry gets, Hezada! I Miss You is a dream of a novel that conforms to neither expectation nor demand. Though the external forces at work on this family succeed in tugging them away from one another, Pringle's precisely woven narrative connections are unbreakable. She again finds a way to render time and place as emotional states, while making memory as corporeal as you or me.” ~ Jack Kaulfus, author of Tomorrow or Forever: Stories

"This is a tale about magic, about longing, about the sometimes crushing weight of dreams. About the flashes of excitement that keep us alive." ~ Ann Tweedy, author of The Body's Alphabet 



๐Ÿ•ฎ

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Book Giveaway: Win Hezada! I Miss You on LibraryThing

Reading a book, photo by Pedro Ribeiro Simรตes 
(used under CC license)

Hezada! I Miss You is now available to win from LibraryThing, a worldwide website for readers of every feather. 

Throw your hat into the book lottery and enter by September 15, 2020.

Enterhttps://www.librarything.com/er_list.php?sort=startdate&program=giveaway&country=us&offeredby=1&batch=open&publisherid=0&media=paper

Summary

The last Midwestern traveling circus is due to arrive in a rural village it has visited for a century of summers. Like the village, the circus is on its last leg. It’s down to one elephant and a handful of acrobats. The circus boss’s sweetheart is dying. The former starring act is recovering from cancer. The assistant, Frank, plans to retire after this show. Meanwhile, twins Heza and Abe wander the hot fields and roads, waiting for the circus or anything better. Hezada! I Miss You is a novel that explores tradition, love, and suicide—set under the fading tents of small-town America and the circus.


Praise for Hezada! I Miss You

"It's haunting. It's lovely. It's an utterly painful and beautiful look at how life passes. Exploring the consequences of a suicide from those intimately involved to those on the sidelines, Pringle's unflinching view sets a summer circus as a backdrop for everything lost when life is gone." - The Austin Chronicle
"Mournful, funny, piercing, and profound, Erin Pringle's Hezada! I Miss You is a stirring, vivid novel [and] breathtaking work of art." ~ Sharma Shields, author of The Cassandra
"This novel is a lovely meditation on how the inevitability of change and loss is sustained by nostalgia and memory, and survived by that quiet beat of hope that lives in us all. ~ Donna Miscolta, author of Hola and Goodbye

"Set against the fascinating backdrop of a traveling circus, Hezada, I Miss You is a meditation on sorrow—how people deal with it, how they attempt to escape from it, and how, for some, it’s inescapable. It’s a tender novel that should be read slowly, each line given the careful consideration it deserves for the beautiful, heartbreaking insights it holds." 
Rajia Hassib, author of In the Language of Miracles and A Pure Heart

"Brilliant. A heart-wrench of a debut novel. The writing cuts right to the bone, with cadences that sing. Reminiscent of Bradbury and Sherwood Anderson, Pringle's Hezada! I Miss You is a kaleidoscopic vision of love, desire, loss – and life." Regi Claire, author of Fighting It and two-time finalist for Saltire Scottish Book of the Year

Graceful storytelling and poetic clarity make this an enchanting and absorbing novel. I thought about these characters long after I finished the book. The lightness of touch belies the fact that Erin Pringle is a wise and fearless writer.  ~ Laura Long, author of Out of Peel Tree

"Pringle captures the dynamics of family and small-town community in a way that recalls Tennessee Williams and Flannery O'Connor, yet her voice is lean and smart and entirely her own. Hezada! I Miss You is a powerful narrative about how we reckon with the cages we're born into, or craft for ourselves. What a beautiful gut-punch of a book.” Melissa Stephenson, author of Driven: A White-Knuckled Ride to Heartbreak and Back

"Hezada! is a stunning first novel—quiet and devastating, an elliptical tale of loss and the limitations and failures of a small town. The circus is always on the verge of arrival, and there is something deeply sinister in that." ~ Polly Buckingham, author of Expense of a View

"With the cool-minded skill of a funambulist, the foolhardy courage of a human cannonball, and the secretive, poignant wisdom of a melancholy clown, Erin Pringle will leave you dazzled and bleary-eyed with Hezada! I Miss You. Your lesser half will want to keep this book to yourself. Your better half will want to share its wonders with the world." ~ Tom Noyes, author of Come by Here: A Novella and Stories

Here is a book that gives in novel form—people as stories performing like poems (“Where did your death come from?”) Where language is velocity & mass whereby the turn of phrase is the continually changing way people fall into or out of collective speech, demonstrating how our vulnerabilities to each other can transform into our feeling with others. ~ Julia Drescher, author of Open Epic

“Spare, haunting, as honest as poetry gets, Hezada! I Miss You is a dream of a novel that conforms to neither expectation nor demand. Though the external forces at work on this family succeed in tugging them away from one another, Pringle's precisely woven narrative connections are unbreakable. She again finds a way to render time and place as emotional states, while making memory as corporeal as you or me.” ~ Jack Kaulfus, author of Tomorrow or Forever: Stories

"This is a tale about magic, about longing, about the sometimes crushing weight of dreams. About the flashes of excitement that keep us alive." ~ Ann Tweedy, author of The Body's Alphabet 

๐Ÿ•ฎ