WVU Press publishes novel that explores a religious commune from the point of view of its youngest member
Margot Singer, author of “The Pale of Settlement” proclaims of the novel, “There are few contemporary novels that I truly admire. Van Eerden’s novel rises to the top of my list.”
Kevin Oderman, author of “White Vespa” and “Cannot Stay: Essays on Travel,” declares, “It’s rare to fall for a voice, to want nothing more than just to listen. So I finished Jessie van Eerden’s My Radio Radio feeling something like grief, lovelorn, my heart captive to the voice of Omi Ruth, a girl who sees the world so fresh she makes it new.”
In “My Radio Radio” the members of Dunlap Fellowship of All Things in Common share everything from their meager incomes to the only functioning toilet in the community house — everything, that is, except secrets. When Omi Ruth Wincott, the youngest member of the disintegrating common-purse community in this small Indiana town, loses her only brother, Woodrun, she withdraws from everyone and fixates on a secret desire: she wishes only for an extravagant headstone to mark Woodrun’s grave, an expense that the strict, parsimonious community can’t — or won’t — pay for. In her loneliness, Omi Ruth’s only ties to the world remain her National Geographic magazines and a new resident in the house, Northrop, an old man caught between living and dying, maintained in a vegetative state by hospice care.
Observing everything with the keen eye of a girl with a photographic memory, Omi Ruth finds herself learning to grieve in the company of unlikely strangers. With the help of a homeless and pregnant Tracie Casteel, a rebellious Amish boy named Spencer Frye, and the smooth-talking Vaughn Buey who works third shift at Dunlap’s RV plant, Omi Ruth discovers that there are two things of which there is no shortage in the world’s common purse — love and loss.
Jessie van Eerden holds a Master of Fine Arts in nonfiction from the University of Iowa and a Bachelor of Arts in English from WVU. Her debut novel�Glorybound�won�Foreword Reviews’�fiction prize. Her work has appeared in The Oxford American, Bellingham Review, Best American Spiritual Writing,�and other publications. She directs the low-residency Master of Fine Arts program at West Virginia Wesleyan College. Learn more at jessievaneerden.com.
More praise for “My Radio Radio:”
“A book of surprises — surprises that emanate not so much from dramatic action but as a rich consequence of the crafting of character through language.”
Karen Brennan, author of�”little dark”�and�”Monsters”
“Reading ‘My Radio Radio’ is like swimming under the luminous skin of life.”
Richard Schmitt, author of The Aerialist
”’My Radio Radio’ will tune you in from the beginning and leave you wanting more by the end.”
Paul J. Willis, author of “The Alpine Tales”
Morgantown, W.Va.: Wednesday, April 20, 6:30 p.m.
MWG and WVU Press present Jonathan Corcoran and Jessie van Eerden
Monongalia Arts Center: 107 High St, Morgantown, WV 26505
Refreshments at 6:30 p.m. Readings starts at 6:45 p.m.
Buckhannon, W.Va.: Thursday, April 21, 7 p.m.
Lascaux Micro-Theater presents Jonathan Corcoran and Jessie van Eerden
33 E Main St, Buckhannon, WV 26201
Elkins, W.Va.: Friday, April 22, 7 p.m.
Old Brick Playhouse presents Jonathan Corcoran and Jessie van Eerden
329 Davis Ave # 4, Elkins, WV 26241
Publication date: April 2016
April 2016/160pp/PB 978-1-943665-08-2: $16.99/epub 978-1-943665-09-9: $16.99
CONTACT: Abby Freeland, Marketing Manager, WVU Press
304 293-6188, email@example.com
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