Vera's Will deserves to be recognized as a major literary work immediately. Written with the grace of Carson McCullers, "The Heart is a Lonely Hunter," and the elegance of Radclyffe Hall's "The Well of Loneliness" (without the self loathing and capitulation to social pressures), Shelley Ettinger has written a book that narrates profound human truths - particularly the soul's ravenous hunger for intimacy and the corresponding pain at its denial - far better than most recent best-selling (usually heterosexually-themed) novels that purport to dive into similar territory. Here is real honesty, gut-twisting, loving, beautiful and terrible in the intergenerational lives of lesbian women who to varying degrees must fight for their identify, for love and mostly for their own self respect. This beautiful novel deserves to be widely recognized outside the "gay and lesbian literary ghetto." What the "L Word" did for popular television culture, "Vera's Will" should do for modern literature. It should become part of the American literary canon.
Vera's Will is a beautifully written family saga with a twist that tells the parallel stories of a woman and her granddaughter who are both lesbian. Their intersecting stories, one that begins a hundred years ago in Czarist Russia and the other that begins in suburban America, re-create in vivid detail their historical epochs. One is a story of self-sacrifice, the other is a story of liberation; the author's great gift is to show us how they intertwine. Michael Nava, author of The City of Palaces
Vera's Will is a novel of tremendous insight, and tremendous import. Shelley Ettinger moves expertly between two compelling voices, between the recent and distant past, between the personal and political, writing with clarity and heart. Too many stories are lost to history, too many voices are silenced, often the stories and voices we need most. Vera's Will is not only a deeply moving book, but a gift, and a kind of rescue. Justin Torres, author of We the Animals
Vera's Will spans the twentieth century and three generations, taking us from Russian pogroms to immigrant struggles, from family-ravaging homophobia to GLBT resistance. Ettinger's captivating story is rich with social and cultural detail, alive with generously-drawn characters, and unflinching in its political passion. Ellen Meeropol, author of On Hurricane Island
Latest praise:"This is a soft spoken heartfelt book--one to be read slowly, akin to short sips from a glass of fine wine." — Robert Milo-Baldwin, Bloomsbury Review of Books
More books by Reamy Jansen: Two Ways of Not Hearing and My Drive, A Natural History are both at Finishing Line Press in Georgetown, KY. Two Ways of Not Hearing covers issues of mortality and constancy and the threats of getting older. My Drive is a series of linked prose poems about commuting to work and going solo to the unknown.
Her upcoming novel is Vera's Will, which ranges the twentieth century from the Kishinev pogrom
to American homophobia in the nineteen-twenties-- to the struggle for GLBT rights in the nineteen-seventies!
Poetry by Billy Cancel, Darren C. Demaree, Howie Good, Nels Hanson, Nora Iuga, Seth Jani, Dan Lewis, Kevin McLellan, Kat Meads, Simon Perchik, Erin Redfern, Margaret A. Robinson, Terry Savoie, Elaine Sexton, D.E. Steward, Mark Young, and Lisa Zimmerman; Fiction by Peggy Backman, Dreama Wyant Frisk, Edward Miller, Caleb Okereke, Michael Price, Patty Somlo, Peter Speziale, and Scott Wheatley; Nonfiction by Liza Case, Chelsey Clammer, Reamy Jansen, Dean G. Loumbas, Gregg Orifici, and Steven Roiphe.
Upcoming: Shelley Ettinger reads from Vera's Will: June 15 reading at Book Soup in West Hollywood; June 25 at NYU Bookstore with Ellen Meeropol and Celine Keating; Bureau of General Services Queer Division, at the LGBT Center, on July 9; Queens Pride House in September.
Latest praise for Reamy Jansen's Available Light: "This is a soft spoken heartfelt book--one to be read slowly, akin to short sips from a glass of fine wine." — Robert Milo-Baldwin, Bloomsbury Review of Books
More books by Reamy Jansen: Two Ways of Not Hearing and My Drive, A Natural History are both at Finishing Line Press in Georgetown, KY. Two Ways of Not Hearing covers issues of mortality and constancy and the threats of getting older. My Drive is a series of linked prose poems about commuting to work and going solo to the unknown
Hamilton Stone's newest provisional member is Shelley Ettinger. Her upcoming novel is Vera's Will, which ranges the twentieth century from the Kishinev pogrom
to American homophobia in the nineteen-twenties-- to the struggle for GLBT rights in the nineteen-seventies! See Shelley's blog.
Hamilton Stone Review #30 Winter-Spring 2014 has lots of great reading: Poetry by Gale Acuff, Kevin Carey, Michelle Disler, Doug Draime, Susan J. Erickson, Kate Falvey, William Ford, Benjamin Goluboff, Howie Good, Hannah Greenberg, Michael Hettich, Charlene Langfur, Catherine Morocco, Keith Moul, Frederick Pollack, Mary Ann Rockwell, Gerard Sarnat, and David Trame; Fiction by Ellen Alexander Conley, Arturo Desimone, Priscilla Jolly, Edith Konecky, and Jane Stark; and Nonfiction by Gretchen Clark, Chelsey Clammer, Bruce Colbert, Catherine Mauk, and Jay Hansford C. Vest.
Trina Carter in Foreword Reviews says of Miguel Ortiz's new Hamilton Stone novel Parental Sins,"Drawing on folkloric traditions, Miguel Antonio Ortiz explores themes of sin and salvation, guilt and atonement, betrayal and forgiveness....By turns philosophical and metaphorical, he manages to poke fun at 'the viability of sin' while considering what it means to have inherited from our original parents 'the guilt that requires having to expiate timeand again the crime of having eaten the apple.'"
Hamilton Stone Editions poet, James Cervantes read from his new book, From Mr. Bondo's Unshared Life Tuesday, December 10, 2013, 7:00 PM at Changing Hands Bookstorein Tempe, Arizona.
Hamilton Stone Review #29 Fall 2013 has lots of great reading: Poetry by Sarah Anderson, Nina Bennett, Roy Bentley, Ace Boggess, Doug Bolling, Craig Cotter, Mark DeCarteret, William Doreski, George Freek, Nels Hanson, Maureen Kingston, Tricia Knoll, Philip Kobylarz, Desmond Kon, David McAleavey, Bruce McRae, Karla Linn Merrifield, BZ Niditch, Holly Painter, Joyce Peseroff, Roger Pfingston, Brianna Pike, Tim Suermondt, Anne Whitehouse, Chelsea Whitton, and Leonore Wilson; Fiction by Rebecca Andem, Jack Dowling, Desirée Jung, Richard Kostelanetz, Robyn Ryle, Yong Takahashi, and John Duncan Talbird; and Nonfiction by David W. Ricker, Jerry Wemple, James Ferry, Terry Barr, and Jim Krosschell.
Leora Skolkin-Smith was interviewed in Lilith magazine about about the re-release of her novel "Hystera" (winner of the Global -Ebooks Award and the USA Book Award in Fiction).
Poetry by Alan Britt,
Bill Brown, Keith Dunlap, Myron Ernst, Susan Firer, Howie Good, James Grabill, Jeff Gundy, Rachel N. Heller, Len Krisak, Casandra Lopez, Paul Nelson, Genevieve Payne, Simon Perchik, Ned Randle, Lois Roma-Deely, Elaine Sexton, Tim Suermondt, Lee Upton, and David Woodward; Fiction by Deborah Clearman, Valerie Fox and Arlene Ang, Mike Maggio, Charles Rammelkamp, Andreas Trolf, and Eva White.
James Cervantes's Sleepwalker's Songs seems so sane, its light so much that of the quotidian, that it is only with a certain shock (like that produced by a dream remembered) that one realizes what one has really experienced
- T.R. Hummer
Cervantes, one can reasonably assume, believes longing is its own music. Be forewarned. These are the poems of someone who knows the dangers in such music and has chosen to dance to it anyway.
"Readers are accompanied by a wise guide on a journey to understand more deeply the sources of disappointment in their family relationships and to discover potential paths to greater satisfaction in the family and in intimate relationships more generally.."
—Irene Elkin, PhD Professor Emerita, University of Chicago, Psychotherapy Researcher
Sleepwalker's Songs, Poems by James Cervantes ; Homeward Bound by Howard Waskow;
The Cisco Kid in the Bronx by Miguel A. Ortiz;
Fiction and the Facts of Life by Edith Konecky; Inheritance by Jane Lazarre;
and Re-Visions by Meredith Sue Willis
Poetry by John Allman, Gerard Beirne, Ruth Gooley, KJ Hannah Greenberg, Sarah Marshall, Tim Mayo, Mark J. Mitchell, Simon Perchik, Frederick Pollack, Aaron Poller, and Judith Skillman. Fiction by Ellen Alexander Conley, Jack Dowling, Joachim Frank, Nicholas Grider, Sue Mellins, Suzanne McConnell, Richard Peabody, Susan Robbins, and Jane Zingale.