Thursday, November 3, 7pm – Fiction
Josh Rolnick & Lee Klein
Lee Klein’s writing has appeared in Agni, The Best American Non-Required Reading 2007, The Black Warrior Review, Canteen, Swink, Barrelhouse, Hobart, Pindeldyboz, and other sites, journals, and anthologies from indie presses and megapublishers alike. He’s also edited the semi-literary site eyeshot.net since 1999, and graduated from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop in 2006. Since then, he has lived in the Cheesesteak Gardens neighborhood of South Philadelphia.
author of Pulp and Paper: Stories
($16.00 University of Iowa Press)
Josh Rolnick’s short stories have won the Arts & Letters Fiction Prize and the Florida Review Editor’s Choice Prize. They have also been published in Harvard Review, Western Humanities Review, Bellingham Review, and Gulf Coast, and have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best New American Voices. A reporter, editor, and journal publisher, he grew up in New Jersey, spent summers camping his way through Upstate New York, and has lived in Jerusalem, London, Philadelphia, Iowa City, Washington, D.C., and Menlo Park, California. He currently lives with his wife and three sons in Akron, Ohio.
“Josh Rolnick is a wonderful observer and a beautiful storyteller. Each story in Pulp and Paper is a path to the hearts of Rolnick’s characters, who, like you and me, strive to be their true, honest selves despite follies and weaknesses. A truly compassionate collection.” —Yiyun Li
“In Pulp and Paper, Josh Rolnick’s characters remind us what it is to
confront loss—from the everyday to the unimaginable—and what it takes to survive it, or to admit the ways in which it cannot be survived. Sharp and arresting on the sentence level, and full of compelling insight into the private lives of the kind of people we regularly see trying to hold it together, but rarely imagine as precisely and generously as Rolnick has, this book is a real wonder.” —Danielle Evans, author, Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self
“These finely wrought stories trace a path to restoration and repair without ever resorting to the overused, predictable footways. Their empathy and insight are surprising, their breadth is impressive.” —Kevin Moffett, author, Permanent Visitors
“I glanced out the window as my train pulled into the station and saw the girl who killed my son.” So begins Josh Rolnick’s powerful debut collection of eight stories, which utilizes a richly focused narrative style accenting the unavoidable tragedies of life while revealing the grace and dignity with which people learn to deal with them. The stories—four set in New Jersey and four in New York—span the wide geographic tapestry of the area and demonstrate the interconnectedness of both the neighboring states and the residents who inhabit them.
In “Funnyboy,” a grief-stricken father struggles to come to terms with the banality of his son’s accidental death at the hands of a high school
cheerleader. In “Pulp and Paper,” two neighbors attempt to escape a toxic spill resulting from a train derailment when a moment of compassion alters both their futures forever. “Innkeeping” features a teenager’s simmering resentment toward the burgeoning relationship between his widowed mother and a long-term hotel guest. A teenager deals with the inconceivable results of his innocent act before an ice hockey game in “Big Lake.” And in “The Carousel,” a Coney Island carousel operator confronts the fading memories of a world that once overflowed with grandeur and promise. Throughout, Rolnick’s characters search for a firm footing while wrestling with life’s hardships, finding hope and redemption in the simple yet uncommon
willingness to act.