DAVID JAMES DUNCAN
David's classic novel, The River Why, will appear in a new eiditon from Little-Brown in 2015. The Brothers K remains one of America's most engaging baseball novels. Widely respected for his materful short stories and essays, David has published three collections: River Teeth, My Story As Told By Water, and God Laughs and Plays. My Story As Told By Water made the short list for the National Book Award. Michael Pietsch, Executive Vice-President and Publisher at Little-Brown has acquired David’s third novel, Sun House, which will be published in late 2016.
David's Editor Michael Pietsch, CEO of the Hachette Book Group, sent this letter to 1500 influencers with a reader's copy of the novel:
Something like forty years ago, I fell in love with an over-the-transom submission by one David James Duncan, a first novel about fishing, nature, family, and higher matters, called The River Why. Though I was unsuccessful at persuading my bosses then of the novel's virtues, it went on to be published in 1983 by Sierra Club Press, where I watched it sell and sell and become a cult favorite.
You know the rest, or some of it, I hope. In 1992, Duncan published The Brothers K, often cited as one of the great novels about baseball (and brothers, and war), and in 2001 the amazing essay collection and National Book Award Finalist My Story as Told by Water. In 2006, while Publisher of Little, Brown, I was thrilled to hear from David again and to have the opportunity to sign up the third novel he was in the throes of writing.
Now, sixteen wonderful years later, here you have it: the novel that I will immodestly call David's magnum opus, Sun House. I say wonderful because I've never been on such a journey with a writer, seeing him wrestle chapter by chapter to achieve something big, true, lasting, wildly entertaining, and deeply moving. Sun House takes on some of the biggest topics fiction can engage with: faith, love, death, connecting with other people and the natural world, right living in a corrupted world. Its dramatis personae include restaurateurs, tech workers, nature guides, ranchers, musicians, scholars, actors, bankers, a Jesuit, and a heartbroken farmer, to name only a few. It's funny, learned, sweet, wide open, and unapologetically hopeful. I've laughed and sobbed through some of its scenes dozens of times as I've read them over these years. I commend it to you wholeheartedly, wishing you the same pleasures: please dive in! It's long, but every time I've finished reading it, I've wished it went on longer. I hope you'll feel the same.
Hachette Book Group
SUN HOUSE Synopsis:
A bolt from the inlet cowl of an Aero México DC-8 falls from the sky, piercing the head of a Mexican girl hoeing corn in her father’s garden; this unbearable fluke stuns a young American Jesuit, throws his faith into crisis, and changes the course of his life.
When his mother dies on his fifth birthday, Jamey van Zandt represses his anger and grows up to become a gifted actor. But once a year on his and his mother’s birth and deathday, he goes as mad as King Lear and suicidally duels with the Fate, God or Power who let the terrible coincidence happen.
A young woman named Risa McKeig runs through the streets of Seattle toward a “shooting star moment” that pierces her world with a love that will eventually help heal both the heartbroken Jesuit and the angry actor.
These and a kaleidoscope of traveling companions populate David James’ Duncan’s Eastern Western, a novel that continues the exploration of the human yearning for meaning and love that so enraptured readers of The River Why and The Brothers K.
The sometimes heartbreaking, often hilarious journeys of this “unintentional menagerie” carry them to the healing lands of Montana’s Elkmoon Beguine and Cattle Company, where nothing tastes better than four fingers of Maker’s Mark mixed with glacier ice, nothing sounds lovelier than a lonely flycatcher’s mating song, and nothing seems less likely than the delight a bunch of urban sophisticates, Montana cowboys, road-weary musicians, and spiritual refugees began to find in each other’s company.
While some readers may compare the wit in Eastern Western to the utopian spoofing of T. Coraghessan Boyle’s Drop City, and others may find a spiritual depth comparable to the nonfiction of Annie Dillard or Thomas Merton, all will revel in a uniquely imagined world when David James Duncan examines contemporary western America through the prisms of Eastern wisdom and the unpredictable, uncontainable eros of the human hear
JESSIE VAN EERDEN
Glorybound, Jessie van Eerden’s debunovel, released by Wordfarm in 2012, won the 2012 Editor’s Choice Fiction Prize with ForeWord Reviews’ Book of the Year Awards. In 2016 West Virginia University Press will publish her scone novel, My Radio, Radio. Click on the cover of Glorybound to read more about this talented young author. The Long Weeping collects her award-winning says into a lovely, spiritual anthology.
Jessie has won the 2019 Dzanc Books prize for Best Fiction submission. The publisher plans to release her third novel, Call It Horses, Spring, 2021. Click on Jessie's photo to learn more about this wonderful publisher:
We represent the estates of one of the most prolific and beloved authors of children's books, Catherine Woolley, who published picture books under the pen name Jane Thayer. We also represent the estate of her long-time illustrator, Seymour Fleishman. Purple House Press has resissued several of their books in facsimile editions.