Oh, friends, not one, but two things to celebrate over here in my heart.
1st: Yesterday Broken Ground received a lovely review from Publisher’s Weekly. Here is best bit, minus a really nice synopsis because I don’t want to spoil the plot for you, if you happen to read the book and don’t want the plot spoiled for you. I’m having that “they got it” feeling.Here’s the link if you don’t mind spoilers.
“Readers interested in immigration issues and U.S. history will discover much to enjoy in Schreck’s well-written, lyric novel . . . Schreck reveals a little-known chapter in U.S. relations with our Mexican neighbors, some of it inspiring and much of it shocking. Readers will love Ruth’s stamina and heart, and come away with a new understanding of immigrant experiences both then and now.”
Hardworking, community building, all-around lovely Christine Maul Rice has written as incredible novel, beautifully shaped from astonishing, connected stories. It’s called Swarm Theory, and it’s published by University of Hell Press. I stayed up all kinds of late finishing the book on Thursday night, went to an illuminating all-day In-Service at the library on Friday, and then on Friday night, met up with another writer friend and attended Christine’s book launch celebration at The Book Cellar, one of my favorite places for books and drinks, and a literary center in Chicago.
I can’t say enough good things about Swarm Theory. It’s a great read. It’s evocative of a place (near Flint, MI) and a time. I LEARNED about writing from reading it. (I’m sorting out what exactly, but, man, oh, man if I could figure out how to build a novel out of connected short stories like Christine has, I would do it and I would start now.) Swarm Theory recalls Louise Erdrich’s Love Medicine for me, and also Olive Kittridge, by Elizabeth Strout
What short-story/novel mashups have you read and loved? I need to get my hands on others, pronto.