Welcome to Mailbox Monday – a weekly meme hosted by Marcia each Monday at The Printed Page. It is here where I share with you the books which have arrived at my home over the last week.
I’ve been in New Hampshire visiting family since the 7th, but my wonderful husband has been keeping me posted about what has arrived at my door in my absence. This week I got:
Impatient With Desire by Gabrielle Burton which arrived from Hyperion Voice via a Library Thing Early Reviewers offer. This book is due for release in March 2010. The book blurb reads: ‘In the summer of 1846, Tamsen Donner, her husband, George, their five daughters, and eighty other pioneers embarked on the California-Oregon Trail. During that ill-fated trip, early snows trapped them for over four months in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Almost half the group perished, and some resorted to unimaginable means to survive—making the Donner Party an enduringly fascinating episode in American history. Set during those long, snowbound months and told through the hauntingly imagined journal entries and letters of Tamsen, IMPATIENT WITH DESIRE is psychologically penetrating, dramatic, provocative, romantic, and intimate.‘ Burton is the author of a previous memoir (I’m Running Away from Home, But I’m Not Allowed to Cross the Street: A Primer of Women’s Liberation), a non fiction book about the ill-fated Donner party which also is part memoir of Burton’s travels west with her family following the same route (Searching For Tamsen Donner), and another novel (Heartbreak Hotel). Read more about Burton and her work on the author’s website.
In An Uncharted Country by Clifford Garstang arrived from Marissa at JKS Communications. This short story collection was published in September 2009 through Press 53. This is a “linked collection [which] showcase[s] ordinary men and women in and around Rugglesville, Virginia, as they struggle to find places and identities in their families and the community.” I was drawn to the book because I like to support the small presses (which often publish wonderful fiction by lesser known authors), and also because of this quote from Pulitzer Prize winning author Elizabeth Strout: “This collection delivers on its title: each story takes us into an area—emotional and geographic—that we may not have been before. There is an impressive variety here, and Garstang’s ability as a storyteller is on display each time. These characters are real, vulnerable, and always, in unique ways, brave.” Garstang’s work has appeared in Virginia Quarterly Review, Shenandoah, Cream City Review, The Baltimore Review, and elsewhere and has received Distinguished Mention in the Best American Series. He won the 2006 Confluence Fiction Prize and the 2007 GSU Review Fiction Prize, and has had scholarships to the Sewanee Writers’ Conference and the Indiana University Writers’ Conference, as well as residencies at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts. To learn more about Garstang and his work, visit the author’s website. Garstang also maintains a blog called Perpetual Folly.