Unmentionables, by Laurie Loewenstein
Our flagship publication takes place on the 1917 Chautauqua circuit, in rural Illinois, on the verge of US involvement in WWI. While the larger topics are race and women’s suffrage, the characters and their courageous stands against oppression and reactionary bigotry could not be more relevant today.
Sing in the Morning, Cry at Night, by Barbara J. Taylor
takes place in Scranton , PA in the early part of the 20th century and is based on stories passed down by the author’s Welsh coal-mining family. The tragic and sudden death of 9-year-old Daisy on the day of her baptism shakes the Morgans — and the entire city — to the core. Not even their staunch Christian beliefs can help them. Eight year old Violet is blamed for the tragedy, while her mother Grace sinks deeper into depression, and Owen the father, a Welsh immigrant, returns to drink after years of sobriety.
Starve the Vulture: One Man’s Mythology, by Jason Carney
Jason Carney was four when his violent and abusive father moved out. He was five when he learned of faggots and niggers. Seven when his great grandparents’ love etched into his heart the vital tools he would need to survive. At age eight, he stole a poetry book from the school library, thinking he’d found his connection to God. In third grade, he moved three times, because of his mother’s second suicide attempt; was eight years old when he first visited her in the psych ward. Jason discovered drugs at age nine. At age eleven he hurt others the way his father hurt him. Fourteen when his mother moved him to California with his new stepfather. Sixteen when they moved back to Texas, because Jason did not fit in. Seventeen— he first attacked men in porn store sex-booths. Placed in a mental hospital at age eighteen, a gay man showed him how poetry could redefine his life. At twenty-four, he put a face on the dark shadows of his nightmare. At twenty-six he intervened in a gay bashing and saved a man’s life. Thirty-two when he appeared on an HBO television show performing his poetry. At thirty-seven, lost in grief and drugs, he held a dying man in his arms. Jason was thirty-nine when he finally looked back and realized the dying man had been his moment of grace.