Monday November 8, 7pm – Fiction
Shaughnessy Bishop-Stall author of Ghosted ($15.95 Soft Skull Press)
Growing up, Mason Dubisee had a hundred future selves: Jedi. Cowboy. Jedi-cowboy. Explorer. Rock star. Sandinista-Gandhi-Hemingway-Indiana-Jones type thing. But at thirty, he must finally face the truth: He’s a drug-addled drifter, an aspiring novelist unable to move beyond lists of titles and themes. Desperate, he takes a job as “The Dogfather”—a downtown hot dog vendor. When a mysterious customer hires him to write a very personal letter, he stumbles into a shadow career, ghostwriting suicide notes for the despondent. The gig helps cover his gambling debts but takes an emotional toll. The trouble is, Mason is hardwired to rescue people, and no one needs rescuing more than the suicidal. Except maybe Willy, the heroin-addicted beauty he’s falling for. What happens when someone wrestling with his own demons immerses himself in other people’s tragedies? Quite a lot: A hotdog cart is totaled, a convict sprung, a funeral faked, a head scalped, a horse stolen. As Mason’s professional and personal lives become entangled, his sanity is tested—as is the line between suicide and murder. Ghosted is a gritty literary thriller, a black comedy, a high-stakes poker caper, an urban cowboy adventure, and a love story. Bishop-Stall plunges fearlessly into the perilous terrain of drugs, love, and death in this ambitious debut.