FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 10, 2015
“Powerful themes jostle one another in this book: the yearning for freedom, the need for self-actualization, failure to love, good versus evil… A deep book [that] will trouble you long after you have read it… Great on so many levels… So well crafted.”
—Nanette Tredoux, Psychologist and Educator
Part elegy, part history, part existential ghost tale, The Stove-Junker is a harrowing, lyrical meditation on loss, heartbreak, and the power of memory.
In his powerful debut novel, S.K. Kalsi has crafted a haunting tale of unvarnished self-examination, as experienced through the story’s central character, Somerset Garden, the stove-junker.
In the winter of 2012, 79-year-old Somerset travels back to his ancestral home in idyllic Drums, Pennsylvania, to renovate his dilapidated house. Burdened by the loss of his beloved wife, the long-ago disappearance of his rebellious son, and angry at God and at himself, Somerset hopes to reach a final understanding of the meaning of his life.
While a blizzard barrels down from the north and “Armageddon” draws near, Somerset discovers an unnamed boy squatting on the property, a strange child who forces him to confront his past. As he unearths objects in the house that had been lost or discarded among the debris, Somerset remembers his father’s cruelty and the accident that cost him his brother’s life; he revisits the itinerant wandering of his youth, tethered to a troubled mother; he mourns the loss of his wife and ponders the decades-long absence of his son—all of whom are caught in the grip of Luzerne County’s ancient history of violence.
Author, Cynthia Ceilán, says of Kalsi and his work, “Here’s a writer who is going to give Cormac McCarthy a run for his money. The Stove-Junker is the kind of story that grabs you by the lapels and sears itself into your soul. The language and imagery are exquisite. Such a rare gem of literary brilliance.”
That Kalsi's work has been influenced by poets, musicians, and philosophers is clearly evidenced in his mastery of evocative language, and his ability to reveal the souls of loners and atheists, iconoclasts and dreamers, and people turned inward by obsession, broken by love, and crippled by heartbreak.
The Stove-Junker, to be published by Little Feather Books, is scheduled for release in April 2015.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: S.K. Kalsi holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of San Francisco, a BFA in Creative Writing from Long Beach State, and a diploma in Screenwriting from UCLA. His short stories have appeared in numerous literary magazines, including The Gettysburg Review, Glint Literary Journal, and The Criterion, among others. His work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. He lives in Napa, California, with his wife, son, and two dogs.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 1, 2014
“This is what I want in a memoir, a personal journey that draws me in, told beautifully with shattering self-awareness
and an eye for detail.”
--Eleanor McCallie, author of An American Woman in China
Brilliant new memoir travels bravely down the road to recovery—even though that road seems to be always under construction.
Dana Lise Shavin offers a moving, profound, and delightfully humorous portrait of the six years following her purported recovery from anorexia in her new memoir, The Body Tourist. Shavin’s masterful storytelling and wit offers a candid and ultimately optimistic window into the mindset and machinations of a mental illness whose tentacles reached deep into her life, long after she was considered "cured."
In 1981, Shavin graduated from college with a BA in Psychology. "It had been a difficult venture that included an expulsion, a four-month institutionalization, and a multitude of transfers," Shavin explains. "By the time it was over, I was convinced I was cured, and that it was time to start curing others." She landed a job as a counselor in a halfway house for drug and alcohol addicts, and was convinced that if anyone knew what it took to become a happy, functioning adult, it was her.
As one might suspect, the burden of self-contempt, faulty logic, and interpersonal turmoil that are the character traits of people struggling with anxiety, depression, and eating disorders do not miraculously disappear as therapy and medication take effect. Where, then, do these dangerous obsessions go once a person sets foot on the road to recovery?
For Shavin, they lived on, beneath the radar of her supposed new-found health. They announced themselves in the deeply flawed men she professed to adore, the food rituals she thought were normal, the ordinary sex she could not have, and most profoundly, her inability to acknowledge her own father’s illness and impending death.
While many writers have written candidly and eloquently about their struggles with depression, addiction, and eating disorders, those stories usually conclude once there is progress toward recovery. Beyond recovery—whether from addictions, illness, or even the death of a loved one or divorce—there is another story, one that is about how we rejoin the world, and, in the living years that follow the darkness, pursue a life that is creative, engaged, and deeply felt in our bodies.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Dana Lise Shavin was born in Atlanta, Georgia, and now lives in Chattanooga, Tennessee. In 1986, she obtained her Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology and worked for fifteen years as a therapist, behavior specialist, and psychological examiner. For the past fifteen years, she has made her living as a fine art painter, exhibiting at outdoor art fairs and in galleries throughout the United States.In 2011, Dana returned to her mental health roots and became a certified professional life coach. She specializes in finding balance and fulfillment in life and work, and goal-setting with soul.
Dana’s essays have appeared in a number of journals, including Oxford American, The Sun, The Writer, Alaska Quarterly Review, and many others. She has been a monthly columnist for the Chattanooga Times Free Press since 2002, and is the editor of the Chattanooga Jewish Federation newspaper, The Shofar. Learn more about the author and her work at www.DanaShavin.com.