Pedram Navab

Pedram Navab is a neurologist and sleep medicine specialist who currently resides in Los Angeles.  He also holds a graduate degree in English/Modern Culture & Media and a J.D., having been educated at Stanford and Brown.  Without Anesthesia is his debut novel.

Pedram Navab Books

 

Without Anesthesia BW Cover

Available as black-and-white paperback and …

 

Without Anesthesia Color Cover

…color illustrated paperback.

 

Music for Without Anesthesia

Music for Without Anesthesia, by Houda Zakeri

Without Anesthesia

a debut novel

by Pedram Navab

original art by Yalda Zakeri.  Original music Houda Zakeri.

 

“vivid, grotesque and whip-smart.”

—Rosalind Galt

 

ABOUT THE BOOK

“Dear Tess, we cut you up today.”  So ends and begins the disturbing and provocative story of Tess, a third-year medical student whose compulsive desire to feel her patients’ pain leads her to destruct her own body by methods both horrific and creative. In this highly original medical thriller, Tess’s narrative intersects with similarly obsessive characters. This book is an eye opener to many who are unaware of trying medical procedures on their own self and what it could bring upon them. Their explanation shows how the person undergoes pain and what is resulting from that will make you go all goosebumps. This is a must read for everyone to know the medical field and its issues at such times.As a result, the distinctions between fiction and reality, between art and medicine, are called into question. Without Anesthesia spans time periods and settings — from 1920’s Hollywood to late 1990’s New York — and culminates in an ending that Alfred Hitchcock himself would approve.

 

EARLY PRAISE

“Without Anesthesia is an original, sobering, and haunting visceral contemplation of love, anguish, morbidity, obsession, knowing and unknowability, the seen and the felt. The intense desire for intimacy and commune on the part of characters and readers evokes riveting anticipation and obsessive page-turning anxiety.”

— Mariam Beevi Lam, author of Precariat Reckoning: Viet Nam, Post-Trauma, and Strategic Affect

“Without Anesthesia is a vivid, grotesque and whip-smart play with identity, where the simulations of appearance merge with the materialities of the body. Navab immerses the reader in the rich vocabularies of medicine and cinema; which is to say, the languages of the body’s beauty and decay, our obsessions and repulsions, life and death.”

— Rosalind Galt, author of Pretty: Film and the Decorative Image, and The New European Cinema: Redrawing the Map

“Without Anesthesia mobilizes an astoundingly rich and varied body of discourses — film theory, philosophies of aesthetics, medical sciences ranging from psychiatry to cardiology, even a history of excrement —deploying them in ways that transform our ideas about what the detective narrative is and what it might become in the future. Yet for all its learnedness, and the bevy of experimental techniques that resist conventions of narrative form and challenge readers’ expectations and comfort zones, Without Anesthesia gives us what has long been beloved about the most conventional, rewarding, and best of mystery novels: the desire to stay up late into the night and read so as to solve a puzzle that seems, at turns, within our grasp and then suddenly, once again, beyond it.”

— Nicole Rizzuto, Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature, Georgetown University

Joe Milazzo

Joe Milazzo is a writer, editor, educator and designer. His writings on music and experimental sound practice have appeared in Copper Press, Paris Transatlantic Magazine, One Final Note and Bagatellen, the latter for which he served as Editor-In-Chief. Milazzo’s literary criticism has been published in Electronic Book Review, The Dallas Morning News, The Collagist, and HTMLGIANT. His fiction and poetry appears in Drunken Boat, Black Clock, Antennae, Super Arrow, H_NGM_N, kill author, Exits Are, the anthology Dirty : Dirty (also from Jaded Ibis Press), and elsewhere. Milazzo holds a Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science (MLS) from the University Of North Texas and a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Writing from the California Institute Of The Arts.

Joe Milazzo Books

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Order the print book from us and put more $$ into the author’s pocket.

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If Crepuscule is not available at this link, ask your local bookstore to order and add to Indiebound.

CREPUSCULE W/NELLIE

_________
a #RECURRENT novel by

Joe Milazzo

 

“audacious and fearless, lyrical and brilliant, superbly imaginative and assuredly accomplished”

–Steve Erickson

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About the Book

Milazzo’s debut novel explores, via imagined as well as reimagined circumstances and incidents, the relationships between jazz pianist and composer Thelonious Monk, his wife Nellie, and his patron and confidante, the Baroness Pannonica De Koenigswarter. See also the interactive website.

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Early Praise

“The challenge in writing on behalf of Joe Milazzo’s fiction is finding the language to convey how special it is, but let us begin with audacious and fearless, lyrical and brilliant, superbly imaginative and assuredly accomplished—one of tomorrow’s great novelists on the cusp of his moment.” —Steve Erickson, Author of Zeroville and Our Ecstatic Days

“… [A] bountifully generative crumbling-down. Crepuscule reminds vividly of Duchamp’s Nude Descending a Staircase, No. 2, where motion is a collapse that does nothing but give back form to that very motion.” —Achraf A. El Bahi

“A polyvocal narrative that’s part Faulkner à la midcentury Manhattan’s jazz epicenters, part early 90’s avant-pop crossed with Black Mountain poetics, and part ghost, Joe Milazzo’s genrebending Crepuscule W/ Nellie boldly re-imagines the relationship between fact and fiction.” —Claire Donato, author of Burial

“Milazzo dug this lost recording of the Monk/Monk/Pannonica trio—dug as in figured, as in got into, as in exhumed—out that ‘dustbin’ folks talk about. And since the composition called Crepescule w/Nellie is this time a story storying history, the good mess Milazzo so expertly messes with alchemizes the linguistic odds-and-ends that make a vernacular both high-falluting and low-down; the factual scraps that member a fiction into a rich speculation; and the individuals ignored so long they must come back to us in books. Our author has given us a fascinating one. Dig it, dig it, dig it.” —Douglas Kearney, author of The Black Automaton and PATTER 3

“Joe Milazzo’s Crepescule w/Nellie is a blast. So rarely do we get a novel this momentous, challenging, ambitious—Crepescule w/ Nellie transcends expectation. I’m moved by the fierce acuity of the maximalist prose, never less than adroit and vital as it parses a famous triangle between the maestro, Thelonious Monk, his wife Nellie, and the Bebop Baroness, Panonica de Koenigswarter, the most storied music patron of the 20th century. Triangulating the infinite personal declensions between struggling black musicians and the white patrons, between the women and their men, Joe Milazzo’s language brilliantly echolocates that essentially American distance, sounding out an American loneliness that is with us still.” —Sesshu Foster, author of World Ball Notebook and Atomik Aztex

“Joe Milazzo’s Crepuscule for Nellie takes as its great and original subject a care-giver’s, literally home-maker’s immensely improvising relation to a creative genius, a demanding, needy, powerful, enigmatic, often disappointing man who was her husband. That is what this long, intimate, painfully American, many-voiced rumination of a novel is about – though also, and indirectly, about much that is implied by its title, which was first that of Thelonious Monk’s shortest major composition, one of my favorites, with its outer, measured clarity and inner, off-balance infinities and shadows. Has Milazzo added the lyrics? I think rather that he has written a deep, interior book about lives that included jazz and everything else. A book that will last. “ —Joseph McElroy, author of Cannonball and Women and Men

“Milazzo’s work inhabits a place much like that between sleep and wakefulness—one is neither conscious nor unconscious, and the mind is free to chart a different terrain, where hallucinations are lucid, rational action is absurd, and the rigid metronome of what we understand as time is unhinged, giving rise to an altogether looser continuum where repetitions, breakdowns, and indeterminate codas are the norm. It seems unnecessary, while perhaps perverse, to make pointed mention of Monk—much less jazz—here. The term ‘jazz’ itself, which fittingly bears no formal etymology, was little used by so-called jazz musicians of Monk’s era. For these musicians, art was tagless. It strikes me that, with this debut novel, Milazzo abides by a similar guiding principle.”  —Laton Carter, author of Leaving

“A supple weave of textures, voices, influences echoed and then amplified; Joe Milazzo’s Crepuscule W/ Nellie masterfully carries out the serious business of mapping out a collective consciousness in all of its layers, tangles, dense thickets and odd gaps. His subjects are many: creativity and sacrifice, patronage, women caring for men, women caring for each other. The book has its refrains, its passages that suggest impassioned improvisation, its tempo shifts, moments of melodic clarity followed by transitions that seek and struggle and finally—as much like Keith Jarrett as Thelonious Monk—explode into even freer terrain. It’s bold, challenging work that connects Milazzo back to a line of authors, like Faulkner and Joyce, who saw the novel as not just a tale well told but a place to inhabit.”  —Mike Heppner, author of The Egg Code and We Came All This Way

Leslie McGrath

Leslie McGrath’s interviews with poets appear regularly in The Writer’s Chronicle. Winner of the 2004 Pablo Neruda Prize for poetry, she is the author of Opulent Hunger, Opulent Rage (2009), a poetry collection, and two chapbooks: Toward Anguish (2007) and By the Windpipe (2014.) Her poems have appeared in The Awl, Agni, The CommonSlate, and elsewhere. She teaches creative writing and literature at Central Connecticut State University, and is series editor of The Tenth Gate, a new poetry imprint of The Word Works press.

Leslie McGrath Books

Available now

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Sold singly as an ebook or…

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… in tandem with Beth Couture’s novella, Women Born With Fur.

Out From the Pleiades

a novella

by Leslie McGrath

Fiber art by Rachel May

“a rollicking, raucous, new myth”

—Susanne Antonetta

ABOUT THE BOOK

The narrative of Mina’s coming of age is in tension with a cultural satire of the political left. Out From the Pleiades examines the question as to what kind of family culture might contribute to someone becoming a bully. It is also time to examine the world of online Forex trading and the Forex trading robots which are plentiful online with promises of making one a millionaire overnight. You can navigate to these guys at https://cybermentors.org.uk/ to get a complete picture about online trading and also about scam robots and how to identify them.

EARLY PRAISE

“Leslie McGrath’s Out from the Pleiades is a hybrid gem, a novella in verse that works utterly both as lyric poetry and as story. The life of protagonist Mina Kali, born to the Seven Sisters—a commune of ‘radical warrior women’—unfolds with an epic sweep, from the moment Mina “raged forth from the dark red dark’ to her final love and loss.  Out From the Pleiades is a rollicking, raucous, new myth, a classic with its head in Aristophanes and its satiric heart in the 1960s. You will read these poems aloud, laughing, and then find them sneakily haunting you.”

—Susanne Antonetta

 

Out From the Pleiades is a revealing character study, the story of ‘Mina,’ a bully bred from the excesses of liberal culture.  It’s a testament to the book’s complex vision that we both condemn and ultimately empathize with Mina as she makes her way through the world.  It’s a master class in the psychology of intimidation, marked by McGrath’s signature wit, compassion and insight.”

—Bruce Snider


“Out From the Pleiades
 is a rich romp, chockfull of feel-good details and enough unanswered questions to make anyone secure in their moral center come, a tiny bit, undone. Ride in Mina’s ‘yolk-colored Subaru’ as she toes the surfaces of high school, passing through the stoic suicide of “Ginger,” until our war protestor comes full circle to the uncharted depths of ‘Yes’ in soldier Violet’s golden eyes – and discovers the harsher power of love’s undoing.’Why didn’t I get a Barbie Dreamhouse for Christmas?’ So asks Mina immediately after wondering if she’s a racist because she’s white too. Priorities, place and position move our hero from well-meaning child to disconcerted bully, borne by a fear of impotence in the world as she tests her own privileged, small power over others.”

Jacob Paul

Jacob Paul’s novel, Sarah/Sara, was named by Poets & Writers as one of 2010’s five best debut fictions. His work has appeared in Hunger Mountain, Western Humanities Review, Green Mountains Review, Massachusetts Review, Seneca Review, Mountain Gazette, The Rumpus, Fiction Writers Review, Numero Cinc Magazine, and USA Today’s Weekend Magazine. A former OppenheimerFunds product manager, he now teaches creative writing at High Point University in North Carolina.

Jacob Paul Books

Coming soon in multiple editions

A Song of Ilan BW cover

Black on Cream paperback.

 

A Song of Ilan Color Cover

Ful-color illustrated paperback, with art by Sarah Martin.

 

Dark Rather Than Tan album cover

Dark Rather than Tan — music composed and performed by Van Goose (Shlomi Lavie) especially for the novel, A Song of Ilan.

 

A Song of Ilan

a novel

by Jacob Paul

 “A dizzying, rhapsodic, and thrilling book”

Early Praise

“Jacob Paul’s A Song of Ilan is tour de force of structural experiment that leaves not a thread untied and moves from beginning to end with a mesmerizing if not horrifying fatality. Ilan, once an Israeli soldier, shot a suicide bomber to death in a cafe; ten years later, alcoholic, spiritually paralyzed, he turns himself into a suicide bomber, haunting the New York subway system with explosives under his coat, the only truth he knows, the only way to God. A spectacular book, beautiful in its rhymes, daunting in its ethical interrogation.”
—Douglas Glover, author of Elle and Savage Love
“A philosophic meditation on the interplay between religion, violence, and personal faith, A Song of Ilan is about what it means to live in a world after 9/11, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, as seen through its protagonist, Ilan’s, desire for God. Through Ilan we see how a direct relationship with God (or the hope for God), divorced from the structure of religious institutions, might take the form of romantic love, and in that relationship’s crisis, take on the perils, obsessions, and violence of that love. A Song of Ilan is necessary reading, especially against the backdrop of recent conflict in Gaza, for anyone who wishes to understand the personal, spiritual, and political impact of religious terrorism, and of the violence that seeks to suppress it.”
—Mark Levine, New York City Council Member and Chair of the City Council Jewish Caucus
A Song of Ilan is a dizzying, rhapsodic, and thrilling book that challenges readers to think about how we live, love, and die. A breathless read that plunges us into a brilliant and tortured mind, A Song of Ilan will haunt your days and nights, your kitchen, your bedroom, as well as and your commute, making you wonder who your neighbor, your colleague, your lover really is. Equally elegant and compelling as Paul plumbs rock climbing and scripture, terror and survival, A Song of Ilan strives heroically toward, in Donald Barthelme’s words, ‘the as-yet unspeakable, the as-yet unspoken.’”
—Matthew Batt, author of Sugarhouse

 

About the Book

The second in Jacob Paul’s thematic trilogy exploring the relationship between spirituality, religion and terrorism, A Song of Ilan explores how the desire for a clear answer to an ever louder question of faith might eventually resolve in self-immolation and mass violence. The book’s title borrows the structure of the opening line of so many of the Psalms – A Song of David, A Song of Solomon, A Song of the sons of Korach, etc. – This is a song of Ilan, Ilan’s psalm, his prayer, his desperate plea.which might be yours if you do not become more responsible and acquire adequate knowledge about Forex trading and automated trading systems because they are the most popular forms of trading today. Visit the official site at https://top10binarydemo.com/ to know more about any trading system of your choice and start trading right away.
A Song of Ilan tells the story of Ilan Frank and the woman he loves, Yedit, tells it over the course of a single transformative day, a day fractured over three versions of reality. It’s a day on which the specters of Ilan’s military service during the first Intifada, his increasingly uncertain old on Yedit, and his resurgent crisis of faith finally crescendo to undo his comfortable life as a financial advisor in New York City.
THE PAST: Ilan, an Israeli Jew raised moderately Orthodox in the US, had returned to Israel for his mandatory three years of service in the Israeli army early during first Intifada. While off-duty, waiting for his fiancé to join him at a sidewalk café in Tel Aviv, Ilan realized that the unseasonably baggy coat worn by the woman approaching concealed a suicide bomb. He shot her, preventing the bombing. And yet, though it’s the most justifiable shooting imaginable, a life-saving killing, Ilan can’t accept having killed. Unable to reconcile his status as a minor hero with his guilt, he returns to the US, where he exchanges faith, heritage and identity for as much risk as he can: in a job on Wall Street, in the mountains with his best friend, Louis, an Indian veteran of Himalayan fighting in Kashmir, and in the city’s bars’ booze and singles.
YEDIT: An Israeli orphan adopted by American parents, Yedit writes academic translations of the Psalms, translations that reveal their wonder and their sarcasm. She composes, and her act of composition woos and wins Ilan. And when she finishes composing and publishes, her book removes her from him, offering its scintillating heresy in exchange.
FAITH: Yedit’s translations, and the original Hebrew of the Pslams viewed through those translations, hound Ilan, torment him and prove to him that a crisis of faith suppressed is not a crisis of faith erased. As Ilan loses control of his thoughts’ directions, he increasingly realizes, to his horror, that his relationship to God and to Ilan’s own peace, lies in the blood pooling beneath the Palestinian woman he shot so long ago in Tel Aviv.

Blue Bustard

Blue Bustard Books is a new Jaded Ibis Press series publishing novellas by 2 different authors in 1 beautifully illustrated print and ebook. Each novella is also available individually as black & white paperback. Series Editor: Debra Di Blasi

JUST PUBLISHED!

Each novella is also available individually, in black-and-white only.  (see below)

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Coming Fall 2015

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Women Born with Fur

by Beth Couture

“An intoxicating book and brew.”

–Frederick Barthelme

Out from the Pleiades

by Leslie McGrath

 “a rollicking, raucous, new myth”

—Susanne Antonetta

Forget You Must Remember

by Nathan Hansen

“Powerful stuff. A clear and strong voice to be reckoned with.”

—Dan Fante

Greetings from Gravipause

by Brian Bradford

Devouring the Green

Sam Witt was born in Wimbledon, England and lived there until the age of seven, at which time his family moved to America, where they lived in North Carolina and then Virginia. After graduation from the University of Virginia and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, Witt lived and worked as a free-lance journalist in San Francisco for several years, publishing in such magazines as Computerworld, the San Francisco Chronicle, Salon and Wired. Sam’s first book of poetry, Everlasting Quail,won the Katherine Bakeless Nason First Book Prize in 2000, sponsored by Breadloaf, and was published by UPNE the following year, at which time he received a Fulbright Fellowship to live and write in Saint Petersburg, Russia for a year. Witt has participated in poetry festivals at Druskininkai and Vilnius at the invitation of the Lithuanian government. He has been a resident at the Breadloaf Writers’ Conference and at Yaddo, and his poems have been published in the Virginia Quarterly, Harvard Review, Georgia Review, Denver Quarterly, Colorado Review, Fence, New England Review, Boston Review and Pleiades among other journals, and in the anthologies The New Young American Poets and The Iowa Anthology of New American Poetries. His poems have been awarded the following awards: The Red Hen Press Poetry Award for 2013; the Meridian Editors’ Poetry Prize, the Briar Cliff Review Poetry Prize, and the Cultural Center of Cape Cod National Poetry Award for 2008; the American Literary Review Poetry Prize for 2001; and the New Millenium Writing Award for 1999. He has taught at Harvard University, Whitman College, and is currently on faculty in the English Department of Framingham State University, and since 2010, has served as Poetry Editor of Jaded Ibis Press.  His second book, Sunflower Brother, won the Cleveland State University Press Open Book competition for 2006, and was published in 2007.  His website address is www.samwittpoetry.com and you can follow him on twitter here: @sambrownwitt.

Devouring the Green Books

Coming Late Fall 2014

DEVOURING-COVER-02

Anthology of new writing, coming late fall 2014.

“During this century, we’ll see that more and more people will start using technology as part of the body in order to perceive more and to extend senses.One example of technology overtaking our lives is the growth of automated trading systems like the Bitcoin Society App about which you can read at https://cybermentors.org.uk/bitcoin-society-app-scam-full-review/. Once you understand how these automated systems work and sieve the fake from the real you will be able to use them to generate profits just like We’ll be better able to understand who we are and in which world we live in.” 
—Neil Harbisson, cofounder of the Cyborg Foundation, an international organization that helps humans become cyborgs and defend cyborg rights.  (Harbisson is the first person officially recognized as a cyborg: His passport photo includes his cyborg-seeing device.)  [see:  http://vimeo.com/51920182]

DEVOURING THE GREEN:

Fear of a Human Planet

a cyborg / eco poetry anthology

edited by Sam Witt

with contributions by 77 renowned writers (listed below) and

art by Christopher Arabadjis

ABOUT THIS BOOK

The inspiration for DEVOURING THE GREEN anthology arose from the editor’s and publisher’s own investigations into new technologies and ecological disaster as it relates to the art of language. We invited a diversity of writers to submit poems addressing the ecological, technical and spiritual.

Jaded Ibis Press searches for provocative poetry that maintains a thread to the past while exploring concerns related to human sentience in an increasingly non-sentient world. To this end, DEVOURING THE GREEN anthology of cyborg/eco-poetry questions the increasingly porous border between the world of machines and the world of nature.

QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER

  • Now that the first Homo sapiens has received an ‘official’ cyborg classification, have we stepped beyond the cusp of a transhumanized planet? [see: http://youtu.be/7EnyR2Bcxnw ]
  • Are the ecological and technological transformations that are altering humans and our biospheres already converging into a singularity — a virtual and potentially literal tidal wave that will assure Homo sapiens extinction? [see: http://youtu.be/LTPAQIvJ_1M ]
  • Have we entered a bizarre present-tense in which technological innovation and evolution is ghosted by a dark ecological shadow?  [see:  http://youtu.be/zPOfmVEFylA ]
  • Are we past the tipping point, environmentally, as our machines race past our ability and willingness to account for the damage they do to natural ecosystems? [see: http://youtu.be/fWInyaMWBY8 and: http://youtu.be/D-UjEaCoVVU ]
  • Has the human ape forever abandoned nature and a comprehensive understanding of its relationship to our intellectual, emotional, physical, and spiritual selves?
  • If the transhuman world were to speak in human language, what would its poetry sound like?
  • If a carbon-based species were to plead to a silicon species, what might its lamentation beget?
  • How is the transhuman tidal shift altering culture and politics?
  • Is there a discernible drift toward language that exacerbates our impending extinction?
  • What role does/can poetry play in discussing these questions?

Amanda Montei

Amanda Montei holds an MFA from California Institute of the Arts, and is currently a PhD student at SUNY at Buffalo, where she is a Presidential Fellow. She has taught, performed or presented work in Los Angeles, New York, Uganda, Rwanda and Germany. She is currently the co-editor of Bon Aire Projects, a press that publishes collaborative poetry and connects otherwise divergent aesthetic communities. She also edits the literary journal P-QUEUE. Her poetry and fiction has appeared in P-QUEUE, Gigantic, Pinwheel, Joyland, Explosion Proof MagazineDelirious HemPANK, Night Train and others. Her critical writing has appeared in American Book Review, Performing Ethos, Harriet: The BlogPAJ: A Journal of Performance and Art, and Ms. Magazine.Her short story “We Are All Animals” was a nominee for the 2010 Million Writers’ Award. Her poetry manuscript The Failure Age was a semi-finalist for the 11th annual Slope Editions Book Prize, and was published as a chapbook by Bloof Books in 2014. She is the co-author, with Jon Rutzmoser, of Dinner Poems. She is also a contributor to the Ms. Magazine blog.

Amanda Montei Books

Coming Fall 2014

 

Two Memoirs

a biography + art

by Amanda Montei

 

 

ABOUT THE BOOK

As a young girl, the narrator of Two Memoirs finds herself imitating her mother. She fastens to her mother’s stories about childhood and the family’s blue blood lineage. When her parents divorce, and the family is forced to leave behind their elite Los Angeles life, the narrator and her mother grow closer, as they endure financial struggles, a childhood acting career, and feuds over family inheritances. The narrator becomes increasingly aware of her mother’s relationships with men, money, and Hollywood, and begins to see her mother—the daughter of an alcoholic Hollywood producer, a runaway, a twin sister, and an Emmy-winning assistant to Barbara Streisand— and her stories in a new light. Her mother, however, makes repeated incursions on the text, defending her “ugly” behavior, challenging the veracity of the story, even censoring the text.

What emerges is narrative about growing up in a family for whom story-telling, Hollywood, houses, and eugenics-obsessed ancestors like Aaron Burr and Jonathan Edwards provide the only means of escape from a less than perfect past, and an unusually troubled present. This is a story of a girl, and a mother, learning about motherhood, sexuality, and the instability of memory.

Two Memoirs is a biography of a mother, an autobiography of a daughter, a story about being a girl in Los Angeles—but also a conversation, an argument, an elegy, a letter, a manuscript at an impasse, and a search for an archive of memory that can never be found.

Jane Rosenberg LaForge

Jane Rosenberg LaForge was born in Los Angeles and raised in the suburb of Laurel Canyon, where she attempted to rub shoulders with the hip and famous. Though she was not successful in that endeavor, she rode horses, took ballet lessons, participated in the Renaissance Pleasure Faire, and graduated from Hollywood High School. After finishing her bachelor’s at UCLA, she worked as a journalist in California, Maryland, and upstate New York. She studied writing in the Kate Braverman workshops of the early 1990s in Los Angeles before attending the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. At UMass, she was a Delaney Fellow and a researcher for two of Jay Neugeboren’s books on the public health system, Transforming Madness and Open Heart. Since earning her MFA, she has taught college reading, composition, and literature part-time in the New York metropolitan area; published critical articles on African-American literature; and four volumes of poetry: After Voices (Burning River 2009); Half-Life (Big Table Publishing Co. 2010); With Apologies to Mick Jagger, Other Gods, and All Women (The Aldrich Press 2012); and The Navigation of Loss (Red Ochre Press 2012), one of three winners of the Red Ochre Press’ annual chapbook competition. She has been nominated twice for a Pushcart Prize (once for poetry, and once for fiction) and once for a StorySouth Million Writers Award. She lives in Manhattan with her husband, Patrick, and their daughter, Eva.

Jane Rosenberg LaForge Books

An Unsuitable Princess

A True Fantasy | A Fantastical Memoir

Jane Rosenberg LaForge
Fine Art by Mary Ann Strandell
PRAISE for An Unsuitable Princess

“Jane Rosenberg LaForge’s An Unsuitable Princess is a daring combination of old-school storytelling and the true wit of the best of contemporary memoirists.  The first of these is a fairy tale about a young woman who cannot speak, while the second tells of the author’s awkward coming of age within the shadows of a disintegrating Hollywood neighborhood.  But it is when these two narratives prove themselves inescapably linked that the novel takes its most affecting turn.  ‘Tell me the story of your life,’’ the author’s daughter asks, and so the author does, with both hilarious and heartbreaking repercussions.  ‘Finally,’ the author writes, ‘I am famous.’”  –Michelle Hoover, author of The Quickening

“It’s two, two, two tales in one. On your left, a deftly told Early Modern horsey fantasy; on your right, an aching memoir of the authorial teenage Ren Faire trauma that begat the tale. Rosenberg LaForge has crafted a quirky and compelling new class of literary mashup.”  –Jess Winfield, co-founder, Reduced Shakespeare Co. and author of My Name is Will: A Novel of Sex, Drugs, and Shakespeare

“Rosenberg LaForge lays out her dreams and desires in this tender and heartbreakingly candid reinvention of memory. An Unsuitable Princess is an entirely original look at life, personal history, and one’s original hopes.”  –Kate Southwood, author of Falling to Earth

ABOUT THE BOOK

An Unsuitable Princess: A True Fantasy/A Fantastical Memoir tells two stories simultaneously. In the first, which takes place in Renaissance England, a mute stable girl of mysterious talents and potentially dangerous parentage finds herself punished for saving the life of the boy she loves. The second story, told through a series of footnotes to the first, is situated in the late 20th Century and explain the inspirations for the first story. An overly talkative, solidly spoiled, middle class girl muses on the social and economic phenomena the author observed while growing up in Hollywood during the birth of the hippie movement, the sexual revolution, women’s liberation, and the growth of Renaissance England re-enactments. She does not save the boy she thinks she loves. Indeed, she may have hastened his death. Even years later, the only way she can acknowledge this failure is by spinning an elaborate fantasy that becomes the tale of a wretched orphan who turns out to be a princess.

Nathan Hansen

Nathan Douglas Hansen served the U.S. Army as an Arabic Linguist and Combat Flight Medic. While working as a feature writer and investigative journalist in the newspaper industry, he was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. Currently, Hansen teaches World Literature, Classic Literature, Poetry, and Creative Writing at an at-risk boarding school located in Northern Arizona. He is a board member for Running River School, a Waldorf-based, nonprofit, parent cooperative, coordinating field trips for youth, working as a public relations officer, and writing grants. He has worked as a social worker, landscaper, bouncer, comedian, telemarketer, tour guide, bartender, waiter, coach, dorm advisor, and endless other professions, adding to his belief that living is what creates the best material for fiction. Hansen is the father of four and husband of one and lives in Sedona, Arizona.
Nathan Hansen Books
Coming Fall 2015
FORGET-PLACEHOLDER

Sold individually as illustrated color ebook, or…

FORGET-GRAVIPAUSE-PLACEHOLDER

…as a BW or illustrated color paperback, in tandem with Brian Bradford’s novella, Greetings from Gravipause.

Forget You Must Remember
a novella
by Nathan Hansen
art by Derek Miller
“Powerful stuff. A clear and strong voice to be reckoned with.”

—Dan Fante, author of Chump Change, Mooch, Spitting Off Tall Buildings, and Short Dog

ABOUT THE BOOK

The author of this autobiographical fiction spent five years with the U.S. Army followed by multiple stays in VA psychiatric units, all of which culminates in this experimental piece that sheds light on the ebb and flow of psychosis and the walls that seal it off in obscurity.

PRAISE

“Forget You Must Remember burns its way into our consciousness like the drugs and delusions that have scalded its narrator’s mind and soul. Gisick’s life is unextinguished by depression, paranoia, addiction, and the labyrinthic procedures of the ‘recovery’ process, but he is without hope or direction. Nate Hansen takes us to the center of chaos and leaves us there, looking out through warped, funhouse mirrors of insanity while science and the state look dispassionately inward – testing, treating, and analyzing a man whose enduring humanity is irrelevant to everyone except Gisick himself, and the readers who simply cannot forget him.”

—Steve Heller, author of What We Choose to Remember and The Automotive History of Lucky Kellerman, President, Board of Directors
Association of Writers & Writing Programs

“Nathan Hansen fully comprehends the depth of this journey. The understanding of mental illness and his compassion for and knowledge of it makes this story compelling.”

—Mariel Hemingway, Author, Actress, Health and Wellness Advocate

“ … in its idiosyncratic realized-metaphors, and object posings of the, perhaps, ultimate (institutionalists) subjective situation, Nathan Hansen’s fine piece of writing, here is, I think, important, and even reminds me of, say Kafka …”

—Dow Mossman, author of The Stones of Summer

A letter from Bret Potter, USA SFC (Ret.)

“Reading Forget You Must Remember for the first time was a bitter sweet experience. I’m both proud of and humbled by the courage it took for Nate to essentially bare his soul for the world to see. At the same time it’s an odd feeling reading a story for which many of the scenarios that will be seen by many as simply words on a page are excerpts from your life they are almost like the directory of cryptocurrencies which are mere numbers and hashes for the ignorant but for the users and the inventors they are part of their portfolio, a part of their daily existence. One can know more about them and how to trade with them at https://top10cryptorobots.com/crypto-robots/bitcoin-code/

For better or worse, my brotherly love of Nate instantly immersed me into a world of bi-polar disorder that I had only cursorily studied as a pre-hospital first responder. Nothing can adequately prepare you for the journey you take when it is personal and not just clinical. Most people have heard the expression of ‘hindsight being 20-20.’ Until you experience your own personal Keyser Söze type epiphany of retrospect, you can’t truly fathom the depths to which this disease pulls not only the one afflicted down with the force of an undertow, but also those closest to them.

Having just recently retired from 20 years of active duty service, I’ve witnessed firsthand our military’s current exodus from two battlefronts and the effects it has had in regards to mental health treatment. There are mental health care providers that are now expertly trained to the conditions of our current climate working tirelessly to heal those in need. Yet somehow it never seems to be enough for all. I’ve had far too many subsequent experiences with watching those that wrestle with the demons of mental illness, floundering in a system ill equipped for the sheer numbers of those in need. I’ve seen the all too familiar look in their eyes when they feel that they are alone, no matter the reassuring gestures or words they receive. To them simply trying to ‘feel better’ is a task akin to shoveling the ocean. Most days it’s as helpless of a feeling for us that love them looking in as it is to them looking out. Sometimes all you can do is figuratively grab a shovel, wade into the waters, and begin to work by their side.

Hopefully the following pages will reach the reader in the same ways it did me. Let this story be an inner voice of understanding from the perspective of those dealing with mental health issues. I want you to hear the words that go unspoken, understand the emotions that can’t be described. I want to pick up a shovel too.” – Bret Potter, USA SFC (Ret.)

My $40,000 Wedding

Lifetimes ago, I flirted with the idea of getting a master’s in social work. But I knew in my heart I was insanely bored by those “established” models and theories in thick, hardbound books: flow charts designed to explain away human behavior. I like observing oddballs, not trying to fix them. So, nah.

I then decided that if I ever took the master’s plunge, it would have to be in a creative field. This conclusion ate its own tail, because why pay out the nose for an advanced degree that doesn’t subsequently increase one’s value in the job market, right? (And didn’t I already learn that lesson with my undergraduate degree in theater performance?) So, nah.

Eventually, however, the fear of carrying a student loan was drowned out by a heart-scream, begging for a new chapter in my life. I applied to, and was accepted into the UCR Palm Desert low-residency program. I would get my MFA in Creative Writing.

I knew going in that I was trailing far behind the pack in terms of my reading resume. I had read no more than three real books in the past ten years, one of which was a “Big Book.”

But I figured there are two types of people who pursue MFA’s in writing: those who are inspired by the works of the masters, and those who just love to write shit down.

I was, of course, the latter. Even so, I still felt a bit inferior.

Anyone: Have you read…

Me: No.

Anyone: But I didn’t say which book.

Me: Well, if it’s not ‘The Road,’ by Cormac McCarthy, then the answer is ‘no.’ I haven’t read it.

But even more crippling than my embarrassingly small Goodreads profile was my incredibly thin skin. I could probably borrow several of the aforementioned “social models of human behavior” to get to the bottom of my extreme sensitivity, but, simply put, any criticism of my work sent me into a spiral of despair, which was then pounded even further by soul-sized waves of unworthiness.

What? That paragraph didn’t rock your universe? Fine. Doesn’t matter, anyway. Because I quit. (Again.)

While I commute back and forth with what needs to be done. I should have tried my hands on online trading of cryptocurrencies.  The automated trading robots are quite popular and the best among the lot is crypto VIP club. It offers a pathway to understand and learn about the digital currency.

I would then announce that writing wasn’t really my thing after all. Writing was just a red herring. My real destiny? Rock star.

Yep. I needed to surrender to a life of rock and roll.

Having course corrected, I would dig my electric guitar out of storage. Is this it? Nope. That’s my bass guitar. Well, the little bass. And there’s the big bass. And there’s The Acoustic. And there’s the Other Acoustic.

Ah. Found it! The Electric One. Much easier to play than The Acoustic. Tick, tock, Gledhill.

Unless… unless I really was supposed to be an actor, after all?

Well, I could ponder that while I looked for my connector thingy that went from my amp to my guitar.

I would make sure at least one of my three guitar tuners still worked. I could just duct tape the batteries into it, since none of them still had a lid to the battery casing. Oh, snap. This one isn’t even a guitar tuner. It’s a metronome! Good to know.

Then, while tuning my ax, I would remember that one of the reasons for my unsuccessful career in music (thus far) was that I had never owned a proper humidifier for The Acoustic. (The stoner guy who was teaching Guitar 2 at Old School Town of Folk Music was pri-tty mad that I didn’t have one.) I’ll go ahead and order one tonight on Amazon. Now is the time. Oh, and a guitar hook for the wall. So Bad Ass.

I would make a commitment to myself: No turning back, this time. I would finally learn to play the guitar, and give my Muse a voice with which to sing songs and say some stuff.

Well, I really only need to learn enough chords to birth the songs out of me. I’ll let real musicians have at them, once I get them on their feet.

G chord. C chord. G chord.

Hm. This sounds so good! It’s amazing what you can do with distortion pedals. Everyone makes it seem so hard, but then you take Guitar 2 at Old Town School of Folk Music and you realize that all the best songs are, like, four chords.

Hmmmm. Where is that folder with the Old Town sheet music, anyway? I loved playing that one Oasis song. The big hit. Where did that folder get to? I think it was manila…

And so it would go for a week. Or less. Inevitably, the rock star charade would end when I would catch a glimpse of my hands, and, once again, accept that God had stuck five toes onto the outer radius of my palms, where most people have fingers. And I would once again surrender to the fact that I would never be able to play all those chords in those books that people with real hands can play.

Anyway, guitar is hard. There’s math.

And once again, I would find myself in front of the glowing face of the Airbook, trying to remember what had sent me bouncing into that sizzling nutfarm where inmates tend to overgrown crops of Escapism, Procrastination, and Denial. How had I ended up there? Again?

And then: Oh yeah. Someone said my writing wasn’t perfect.

So, in September of 2011, I knuckled up to the task at hand: becoming the best writer I could possibly be. (Which, frankly, is every bit as hard as guitar. But at least, with writing, my fingers are long enough to type all the letters. And there is almost no math.)

Then, two years into the two-and-a-half year MFA program, the miracle happened.

After six consecutive months of having my work publicly burned at the stake, my painfully thin skin melted off. I’m not even sure exactly when it happened, but my ego became a wispy pile of ash whirling into the corners of my apartment and then out the door. Tiny ego tumbleweeds rolling here and there, there and here, until it was (almost) all gone.

And underneath the rubble of self-flagellation I discovered a shiny nugget of truth:

It’s all good. And even when it’s not, it doesn’t matter, because I’m gonna do it anyway. I’m just always gonna write stuff. And if, someday, the criticism burns again, I am just gonna have to figure out a way to get through it. Because I’m never going to stop writing. Because I can’t.

Hence, the greatest gift of my MFA was the liberation of my creativity from the shackles of my own ego. That alone will be worth the monthly stab of a student loan payment.

As I see it, $40,000 (pre-interest) was the cost of my first wedding. I am in love, and ready to take the plunge. I am committed to sharing my life with the blank page, for better or for worse, ‘til death do us part.

J.A. works, naps, and watches her Roku in Chicago, IL. She writes for ChicagoNow.com under the slightly misleading moniker “Old Single Mom.” She damn near has her MFA from UCR Palm Desert’s low-res program, and lives with a 5 year old son who would prefer that she only use the term “dynamite,” to describe him. J.A. is currently working on “The Branson Novel,” but so what, right? Everyone is working on something, man.