Friday, April 6, 2012

Indie Book Buzz: Coffee House Press

It's a great day for some Indie Book Buzz here at TNBBC. Over the next few weeks, we will be inviting members of the indie publishing houses to share which of their upcoming 2012 releases they are most excited about! 

This week's pick comes from Tricia O'Reilly,
Marketing Director of Coffee House Press

Windeye by Brian Evenson
(June 2012)

What It’s About
Well, to sum it up: the fantastical stories in Windeye are about understanding the idea of self in a world of shifting realities. Why is it important that you are you and not the person sitting across from you, or the one walking across the street outside? What would happen if you were forgotten? Would you still exist? The answers Windeye suggests are unsettling at best. Some of the characters in these stories: a woman falling out of sync with the world; a king’s servant hypnotized by his murderous horse; a transplanted ear with a mind of its own—these characters live as interlopers in a world shaped by mysterious disappearances and unfathomable discrepancies between the real and imagined. This is Brian’s most far-ranging collection to date, exploring how humans struggle to persist in an increasingly unreal world. Haunting, gripping, and psychologically fierce, these tales illuminate a dark and unsettling side of humanity.

Why You Should Read It
Brian Evenson is one of the most talented short story writers I have ever read. Why his is not a name that every person in American knows is a mystery to me, but I think it’s only a matter of time. Windeye, his new collection of stories that will be out in June, is his best to date.  There is not story in here that didn’t give me a visceral reaction. My favorites are “Grottor,” “The Second Boy,” and “The Sladen Suit.” Oh, and the title story “Windeye,” which was a O. Henry Prize winner. But pretty much every story is a standout example of tense, genre-bending beauty. If you had to put him in a category, it would be literary horror. Think Cormac McCarthy, except with a little bit more of a Twilight Zone feeling. They also kind of feel like fairy tales in a way, and have that creepy undertone that all the good fairy tales have: the quiet stranger is not really who he seems to be; innocence is challenged at every turn; people and things may swiftly vanish or slowly cease of being. So, why should you read Windeye? Because it’s an extraordinary presentation of excellent writing. But also so that when Brian Evenson achieves Edgar Allen Poe level status, you can say that you ‘read him first.’

Tricia O'Reilly joined Coffee House Press in 2010. A native of Queens, NY, her love for reading really took off at age 7 when she hijacked her mother’s Mary Higgins Clark books. She later discovered the beauty of her local library but maintained a love for age-inappropriate literature. Some of her favorite writers are John Steinbeck, Andre Dubus, Karen Yamashita, Tom Robbins, and Roald Dahl. She graduated from Williams College in northwestern Massachusetts, where she studied English and History. She sometimes sings along loudly to Neko Case when alone in the office.

So what do you think guys? See anything that catches your eye? Which of these things are you most excited to see release? Help TNBBC and Coffee House Press spread the buzz about these books by sharing this post with others!

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