Thursday, March 18, 2021

Virtual Book Tour: A Lifetime of Men by Ciahnan Darrell #blogtour #literaryfiction #interview #fiction #giveaway #rabtbooktours @RABTBookTours @CiahnanQuinn

 

 

Literary Fiction

Date Published: August 26, 2020 (ebook); September 22, 2020 (print)

Publisher: Propertius Press


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Tolan has always let her mother have one secret — how she got that scar on her face — playing along with her mother’s game of inventing outlandish tales to explain the wound away. But when she finds a manuscript on her mother’s computer that promises to reveal the true story, Tolan only hesitates for a moment before curiosity compels her to read on.

She’s hoping for answers, but instead, she finds more mysteries tucked away in her mother’s past. Her mother appears to be associated with Bo, a feisty photojournalist who flies to Cuba in pursuit of a story and becomes embedded with Castro’s rebels, but Tolan can’t quite work out their connection. She’s more clear about the relationship between her mother and Michael, a man twelve years her senior. They bond over their shared outcast status, and their friendship quickly becomes intimate, but the relationship antagonizes the self-appointed moral watchdogs in their small town, who start to convert their threats into action. Tolan is pretty sure that Michael is her father. Her mother told her he died years ago, but the book suggests their story had a different ending.

Almost overnight, everything Tolan thought she knew about herself and her family has changed. She wants answers, but to find them, she risks destroying her closest relationships.

 



Interview

What is the hardest part of writing your books?

 

The emotional endurance required to finish a novel is considerable. I write very slowly—my three completed novels took eleven, seven, and five years, respectively, which is longer than most of the friendships I’ve experienced—and as such, I’m at regular risk of internalizing the wounds of individuals who don’t, properly speaking, exist. There is a cost.

 

What songs are most played on your Ipod?

 

Songs from Billie Holliday’s catalogue get a lot of play, as does Robert Johnson. I love Henryk Gorecki’s Symphony No. 3, Itzhak Perlman, 90s rap, and alt rock. I listen to

EDM while I do cardio, so that gets a lot of play as well.

 

Do you have critique partners or beta readers?

 

My wife, Jennifer, is my editor, and I share late drafts with Colten Hibbs, a writer, artist, and activist out of Texas. Colten’s ear is impeccable, and Jennifer has an intuitive sense of what I’m trying to accomplish in a text, both thematically and stylistically, and she is absolutely savage about excising anything that imperils those goals.

 

What book are you reading now?

 

Mark Z. Danielewski’s House of Leaves, Charles Johnson’s Turning the Wheel, and Safiya Sinclair’s Cannibal

 

How did you start your writing career?

 

By placing short stories in relatively unknown and/or now defunct online literary journals. It took me twenty years to find a home for my first novel, and I was fortunate enough to place my second a year later.

 

Tell us about your next release.

 

I’m happy to say that my next book, Blood at the Root, is due out later this year. It’s a very different animal than Lifetime, both in form and theme, and I’m grateful that Atmosphere Press is willing to take a chance on such a controversial novel.

 

Following a diverse group of New Yorkers entangled in the torsions of racial discourse, Blood at the Root is a novel about pain, endurance, and human connection in a city of eight million people. The story begins with the white son of a billionaire becoming so unsettled by the history of racialized violence he's encountered in his Africana Studies program, that he offers himself as a sacrifice of atonement for America's racial sins. He has himself marched, naked and in chains, from the old Slave Market on Wall Street to an alley in the Bronx, where he is tortured on camera for three days. The novel tracks the backlash that occurs when the video appears online. It’s told through thirty-three interlocking chapters, each featuring a different character and written in a distinct style, in an attempt to represent the spectrum of human diversity. Each of the characters is affected by Fairchild’s video in varying ways, while simultaneously fighting personal battles that have nothing to do with Fairchild, which raises the question of how much of an impact an individual can have.



About the Author

Ciahnan Darrell's short stories and essays have appeared in several journals, most recently in The Columbia Review, and his story, 'What Remains,' was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. He is a contributing editor at Marginalia, an international review of literature along the nexus of history, theology, and religion. He holds an MDiv from the University of Chicago, an MA in philosophy and the arts from Stony Brook University, and an MA and PhD in comparative literature from the University at Buffalo. A Lifetime of Men is his first novel.


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