That One Cigarette
by Stu Krieger
A story of ordinary people making extraordinary ripples in the ocean of life
Stu Krieger is the winner of the
Riverside International Film Festival Lifetime Achievement Award
That One Cigarette is a counterfactual history novel following four families from November of 1963 to January of 2009. In November ’63, Ed Callahan is an assistant manager at the Texas School Book Depository in Dallas. His promise to his wife to quit smoking as soon as he finishes the pack in his pocket ends up changing the course of events on November 22. The fallout of this action alters the lives of the Scott family in Rochester, New York, the Kaufman/Goldman family in Los Angeles and the extended Kashat family in Baghdad, Iraq.
It’s not until the final chapters that all of these lives intersect, but along the way, That One Cigarette explores questions of fate, love, loyalty and the ability of each of us to make defining contributions to our world by simply being present in our own lives.
That One Cigarette
by Stu Krieger
Release date: November 24, 2017
Genre: Crime, Thriller, Suspense
About the Author
Stu Krieger is an acclaimed screen and television writer making his debut as a novelist with That One Cigarette. He is currently a professor of screen and television writing in the University of California, Riverside’s Department of Theatre, Film & Digital Production and in the Creative Writing for the Performing Arts MFA Program at UCR. Each fall, he also teaches the Producing the Screenplay class at USC’s Peter Stark MFA Producing Program.
Krieger co-wrote the Emmy award winning mini-series A Year in the Life and was nominated for a Humanitas Prize for co-writing the Disney Channel original movie, Going to the Mat.
Among his more than 25 produced credits, Krieger wrote the animated classic The Land Before Time for producers Steven Spielberg & George Lucas and ten original movies for the Disney Channel, including Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century and its two sequels, Tru Confessions, Smart House, Phantom of the Megaplex, and Cow Belles.
He has been a story editor and writer on Spielberg’s Amazing Stories and the supervising producer on the ABC Television series Jack’s Place. He served as the head writer and story editor of the animated preschool series Toot & Puddle on Nickelodeon in 2008-2009.
His first full-length play, Chasing Smoke, debuted in a staged reading at Garry Marshall’s Falcon Theatre in Burbank in July 2014. His short film script Bad Timing was produced by the UCR Department of Theatre, Film & Digital Production in 2016. He is an Executive Producer on “The Binding,” a 2016 feature film written and directed by his son, Gus Krieger and also served as an Executive Producer on “My Name is Myeisha,” Gus’s second feature film which Gus co-wrote with UCR TFDP Professor Rickerby Hinds, based on Professor Hinds’ play, “Dreamscape.” “Myeisha” was shot on location in Riverside in October 2016.
Mr. Krieger’s TEDx Talk, “Choose Joy,” can be viewed at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2v02wrQ-OSA
On April 22, 2017, Stu Krieger will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award in Screenwriting at the opening night gala of the 2017 Riverside International Film Festival.
by Michael A. Ferro
Forthcoming in 2018
In his twenties and well-educated, Heald Brown might be responsible for the loss of thirty-seven highly classified TITLE 13 government documents, and has perhaps hopelessly lost himself, too.
TITLE 13 combines the sobering realities of contemporary life with elements of dark humor and unconventional love. Heald Brown is a fractured young man, living in the Windy City and looking to harness the promise of the Mecca of the Midwest. He scrabbles with government hoopla, mental illness and addiction, marooned love, and feelings of a discombobulated life that he had once imagined would be so different.
Teetering anxiously between despondency and bombastic sarcasm, he silently clings to his quixotic roots, as he works at the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Chicago Regional Census Center, busily prepping the 2010 Decennial Census, when he is targeted for losing the TITLE 13 government documents. Indeed, having haphazardly moving from Detroit to Chicago during the crippling recession, Heald has certainly lost plenty over the past few years, no doubt due to the frightening course of his alcoholism at such a young age.
As Heald struggles to come to terms with what is at stake, including a budding romance within the office and an emotional confrontation with his concerned family and dying grandmother, will he succumb to the devastating effects of his drinking? Reality at home and work digress into farcical absurdity and arcane psychological revelation, both hilarious and redoubtable in nature, as he seeks the thirty-seven pages of secrets that must be somewhere in the vibrant city. The missing TITLE 13 hangs over each character like a specter, interweaving a series of plot points that ultimately beg the question: Is it the documents that Heald has lost, or is it his own cardinal virtue
About the Author
Born and Bred in Metro Detroit, Michael A. Ferro’s work has been featured in various online and print publications. He was awarded the Jim Cash Creative Writing Award for Fiction. Michael’s debut novel, TITLE 13, is forthcoming from Harvard Square Editions in 2018. Additional writing and information can be found at www.michaelaferro.com and @MichaelFerro. After traveling, working, and writing throughout the Midwest, Michael currently resides in rural Ann Arbor, Michigan.
INDIEFAB Finalist — Winners to be announced in June!
A #1 Amazon bestseller in biographical fiction
Included in Reader’s Digest’s Best Books That Inspire You to Travel
A migrant novel based on the true story
of Lost Boy of Sudan Michael Majok Kuch
“The best war novel told from a young boy’s perspective
since Jerzy Kozinski’s The Painted Bird.”
—Nyoul Lueth Tong, author of There is a Country:
New Writing from the New Country of South Sudan
Sept 13, 2016, 6:00 PM, Katz JCC, 1301 Springdale Road, Cherry Hill, NJ
Sept. 27, 2016, 7:00 PM, Federation for Jewish Philanthropy of Upper Fairfield County, Fairfield, Conn
October 13 2016, , Merchantville Book Club, 7-9 PM
*October 28, 2016, 4:00-6:00 PM Book Launch, Drexel University, Pearlstein Gallery
(concurrent with Warp & Weft; work by Caroline Lathan Steifel), 3401 Filbert Street, October 28, 4:00-6:00 PM
*October 30, 2016, 10:30 AM, Har Zion Temple, Penn Valley, PA
*November 1, 2016, Live! Radio Times with Marty Moss Coane, WHYY 90.9 10-11 AM
*November 1, 2016, 6:00 PM, Philadelphia City Institute, Free Library of Philadelphia, 1905 Locust Street
*November 2, 2016, 7:00 PM, Main Line Books, 116 North Wayne Avenue, Wayne PA
*November 3, 2016, Center for Africana Studies Center, University of Pennsylvania, 3401 Walnut Street, Phila.
*November 9th, 2016, The Peace Center, featuring a talk by Michael Majok Kuch, 109 Maple Avenue, Langhorne PA
*November 15, 2016, 4 PM, Arcadia University, 450 S. Easton Road, Glenside, PA
*November 17, 2016, Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania, Lock Haven, PA
*November 18, 2016, 9:40 AM, Friends Central School, 1101 City Ave., Wynnewood, PA
*November 20, 2016, 3:00 PM Marcus Jewish Community Center, Atlanta Georgia
*November 22, 2016, Springside Chestnut Hill Academy, 500 W Willow Grove Ave, Phila., PA
*November 30, 2016, University of Pennsylvania, International Social Work Class, Fisher Bennet Hall Room 141, 5:00 PM
*December 1, 2016, University of Pittsburgh, African Studies Program, 4217 Posvar Hall, 2-3:30 PM
*December 1, 2016, 8 PM City of Asylum at Alphabet City, 40 W. North Ave. – Pittsburgh, PA – 15212
*December 12, 2016, 7 PM, Amy and Anne’s Book Club, New York New York
*December 15, 2016, 7 PM, Kesher Israel, 4th and Lombard, Philadelphia PA
December 20th, 2016, Bryn Gweled Homesteads Book Club
*January 9, 2017, Australia Book Launch The Avid Reader, Brisbane, Australia
*Jan 19, 2017, 4:30 PM, LaSalle College High School, 8605 Cheltenham Avenue, Wyndmoor, PA
*Jan 20th, 2017, 9:00 AM, Central High School, Philadelphia
*January 22, 2017, 2:00 PM, C. Burr Artz Public Library, sponsored by Curious Iguana Books, 10010 East Partick Street, Frederick MD
*January 24, 2017, 7 :00 PM, BookCulture, (with Jill Bialosky) 450 Columbus Avenue, New York, New York
*January 25, 2017, 4:30 PM, La Salle High School, 8605 Cheltenham Avenue, Glenside, PA
February 15, 2017, Merchantville Women’s Club, Merchantville, NJ
February 8-11, 2017, TBA, Associated Writing Programs Annual Conference, Washington D.C., “When Authors Move in and Out of Their Countries and Genres,” with Garth Greenwell, Dina Elenbogen and Fabienne Joshaphat.
Feb 16 or 21, 2017, 12:30 PM, Sheree’s Book Club, Bryn Mawr, PA
Feb 16, 2017, 7 PM, Wooden Shoe Books 704 South Street, Philadelphia, PA
*February 22, 2017, (Online) Charter for Compassion Global Read—Free, Register here. Charter for Compassion International is thrilled to be collaborating with Harriet Levin Millan for their Global Read Program! Charter members from all around the world have been reading Harriet’s novel How Fast Can You Run and will come together for an online conversation with Harriet (and the protagonist from the book itself!) on February 22nd at 9:00 am PST. This will be their kickoff Global Read Session of 2017!
March 1, 2017, 7 PM, SUNY Stony Brook Southampton MFA Program, Writers Speak Series with Omar Bah.
March 6, 2017, 7:00 PM, Poetry Reading, Free L library of Philadelphia (with Jill Bialosky), Philadelphia, PA
March 29, 2017, 5:00 PM Temple Beth Zion Israel, 300S 18th St. Philadelphia, PA
April 9, 2017, 10:00 AM, Beth El Men’s Club, 8215 Old Georgetown Road, Bethesda, MD
May 7, 2017, 9:30 AM, Congregation Sukkat Shalom, Willamette, IL
May 8, 2017, Prairie Lights Bookstore, Iowa City, Iowa
June 8, 2017, Explorer Book Store, Aspen, CO
June 9-11, 2017, 3-4 PM, Philadelphia Writers Conference, Novel Writing Workshop – *appearing with Michael Majok Kuch
Set across a backdrop of refugee migration that spans Africa, America and Australia, How Fast Can You Run is the inspiring story of Michael Majok Kuch and his journey to find his mother. In 1988, Majok, as a five-year-old boy, fled his burning village in southern Sudan when the North systematically destroyed it, searching for John Garang, the South’s leader. Majok, along with thousands of other fleeing people, many of them unaccompanied minors, trekked through the wilderness in Sudan, Ethiopia, and Kenya to arrive at a series of refugee camps where he would live for the next ten years. When the U.S. brokered an agreement, granting approximately 4,000 unaccompanied minors political asylum, Majok, now Michael, was given a new start in the U.S. Yet his new life was not without trauma. He faced prejudice once again, disrupting the promise of his new beginnings. This is a story of a survivor who in facing challenge after challenge summons the courageous spirit of millions of refugees throughout history and today.
How Fast Can You Run
by Harriet Levin Millan
Release date: October 28, 2016
Genre: True Fiction, Migrant Fiction, Suspense
Join “The Smart Set Read” book discussion on Goodreads, and get your free copy of How Fast Can You Run, as a download on Amazon.com from April 3-7.
Click here to accept the invitation.
WTOP Radio News Anchor Bruce Alan talks with author Harriet Levin Millan about her very real story of a young boy separated from his family at the age of 5 when his village was destroyed in Sudan’s civil war — how he survived — and what he’s up to now.
“Many people have heard of Africa’s lost boys, but none tell their story quite so well as Harriet Levin Millan, who shares her first-hand account, in this elegantly written book. As inspirational as it is lustrous, the book follows the journey of lost boy, Michael Majok Kuch, as he sets off to find his mother, after his village is burned down in Southern Sudan.”
“…the strength here is in Millan’s ability to fully inhabit Majok’s consciousness; she has crafted a rich tale that authentically portrays—and doesn’t exploit—Majok’s refugee experience. A deeply felt novel of grace and intelligence.”
“Generosity and justice prevail in the storytelling . . . an unforgettable individual portrait of all-too-impersonal war. ”
“How Fast Can You Run is an insightful, gripping, and compassionate account of the second Sudanese Civil War and refugee life in America. Michael Majok Kuch’s observations, as the author has written them, about what happens to him over the course of his young life are heartbreaking and hopeful in equal measure. Refugees are individuals. They are not the faceless, nameless millions we in the West encounter only on the evening news. How Fast Can You Run is an important reminder of this.”
“The circuitous journey in How Fast You Can Run is like a story that never ends. The main character Majok struggles with warfare and starvation even within the confines of refugee camps. When he comes to America, he deals with the terror of a new country and betrayal.”
“The un-imaginable journey of Sudanese refugee Michael Majok Kuch becomes an epic tale through the telling of Harriet Levin Millan’s How Fast Can You Run. Genre bursting, this part memoir, part bildunsroman, part adventure tale, and part heart-felt family reunion avoids the pitfalls of many of its predecessors. Full characterization from Sudan to Philadelphia, exacting detail from beginning to end, clearly visualized African landscapes in all their complexity; there are no broad brushstrokes of civil war, refugee plight and immigration here. A fuller story than How Fast Can You Run cannot have been told of the tragic events of war in Sudan that uproot the young boy from the Dinka plains of Southern Sudan to Kakuma refugee camp to Nairobi and Philadelphia and how he has to fight a different kind of war in America from which he emerges victorious. Epic.”
—Bill Kahora, Editor, Kwani
“…an unforgettable individual portrait of all-too-impersonal war. A book like How Fast Can You Run is an eye-opening experience, awakening empathy for a much wider world.”
“In How Fast Can You Run Harriet Levin Millan turns novel-biography into a genre of its own and shows how empathy can turn into a true solidarity. This is a beautiful and crucial story told by two people, one Sudanese with dreams of independence, the other, an American poet who listens to Michael Majok Kuch through her imagination. For Mike in the United States, Halloween with strange fruit hanging triggers PTSD, ethnicity becomes race, soldiers become white police, tragedy there becomes tragedy here and in the end there is only one life for Mike to live. An enduring image for me – a refugee boy blowing up a discarded bloody surgical glove to make a soccer ball, this bio-novel reminds us that the most human of all activities, the one thing that binds us all is finding beauty even in impossible situations.”
—Mukoma Wa Ngugi, author of Nairobi Heat
“Harriet Levin Millan has transformed the story of one “lost boy” into an earthy, grittily told, highly affecting novel. With a poet’s piercing eye, attuned ear, and facility for recognizing resonant moments, Ms. Millan has written an emotionally rich-veined, dramatically moving and ultimately triumphant story. I emerged from this ingenious, fast-paced novel with the sensation of having been taken along by its protagonist on a poignant, heart-pounding journey, enlarged, and changed.”
—Okey Ndibe, author Foreign Gods, Inc.
“And an excellent wordsmith can bring everything together in a story line that’s completely accessible to newcomers to this history…. Few accounts can adequately capture such experiences, but where nonfiction may falter, How Fast Can You Run proves that an adept writer can step in and use the fiction format to capture the drama, psychology, and tension of civil war from a child’s eye (in this case, Michael Majok Kuch)….Because How Fast Can You Run is based on a true saga, the viewpoints and experiences of Kuch come to vivid life and weave a powerful saga of politics, struggle, and survival that’s hard to put down. Any reader interested in accounts of the Sudanese war will find this a compelling method of absorbing history at its most meaningful: through the eyes of a young eyewitness who didn’t just observe events, but lived through and survived them.”
—D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review
“How Fast Can You Run is the story of the indomitable spirit of a boy who overcomes inconceivable loss and countless instances of physical and emotional danger, exiled from everything he had ever known. Millan’s telling of Kuch’s story is a refugee’s dark odyssey that witnesses the vicious realities of the Sudanese conflict and the power of a single human life to overcome impossible trauma with perseverance, hard-won wisdom, and an unyielding grace. Devastating, moving, full of magical grace.”
—Tyler Meier, Executive Director, University of Arizona Poetry Center
“In How Fast Can You Run, Harriet Levin Millan tells the story of one boy’s search for a mother’s love through almost unimaginable pain and suffering. After being separated from his family at the age of five during Sudan’s civil war, Majok and later Mike, the novel’s real-life South Sudanese protagonist, braved war, hunger, and desperate illness before arriving in the United States as a refugee. Millan, who met Michael Majok Kuch when her creative writing class interviewed Sudanese immigrants, brilliantly renders the contours of Dinka and refugee life as well as the internal life of a young refugee tormented by the loss of his family and his childhood. Congratulations to Millan. How Fast Can You Run is a marvelous achievement.”
—Deborah Scroggins, author, Emma’s War: A True Story of Love and Death in Sudan
Michael Majok Kuch returned to his homeland of South Sudan in 2010, after attending high school, college, and graduate school in Philadelphia. In 2005, he was featured in the PBS Documentary, Dinka Diaries, as one of the Lost Boys of Sudan. In 2008, he was the recipient of a Fulbright U.S. Department of Education Scholarship to Sudan, Ethiopia and Kenya. He currently works for the government of the Republic of South Sudan, where he is an advisor in Research and Policy in the Office of the President. He lives in Juba with his wife and daughter.
More news on the migrant crisis
‘Inside the World’s Biggest Refugee Camp‘—The BBC interviews refugees from Somalia in the largest refugee camp in the world
where 300 000 people live in Kenya.
Article on Kakuma, the camp Mike lived in.
Poetry by Harriet Levin Millan
Harriet’s poetry in Ghost Town
About the Author
Harriet Levin Millan is a prize winning poet and writer. Her poetry collection, The Christmas Show, (Beacon Press) was selected for the Barnard New Women Poets Prize and The Poetry Society of America’s Alice Fay di Castagnola Award. She received a MFA from the University of Iowa’s Writers Workshop and has written for The Kenyon Review, Ploughshares, Prairie Schooner, The Harvard Review, The Iowa Review, PEN America, The Smart Set, among other publications. She and her family founded the Reunion Project and along with the participation of Philadelphia-area high school and college students, raised money to reunite several Lost Boys and Girls of Sudan with their mothers living abroad. She teaches creative writing in the English Department at Drexel University and directs the Certificate Program in Writing and Publishing. She lives with her husband outside Philadelphia.
Leapfrog Fiction Contest Semifinalist; Asheville Award Finalist; Willow Books Literature Award Finalist
Transoceanic Lights chronicles the hardships of a Chinese family after immigrating to the US. The overbearing mother must reconcile the immensity of her sacrifice in the midst of a deteriorating marriage. Her only solace is the distant promise of a better life for her son, who spends his days in school longing for the comfort of his homeland. This is a novel about familial love and discord, the strains of displacement, and the elusive nature of the American Dream.
“Here they come, fresh off the flight from China: The father, Ba, the mother, Ma, and their only child, unnamed; we’ll call him Son. Son is 5, the same age the Chinese-American author was on his arrival in the U.S.; the novel has a strong autobiographical flavor.”
by S. Li
Three hopeful families immigrate to the US from post-Mao China
Genre: Multicultural, Suspense, Family, Asian
Release date: March 2, 2015 - 5 x 8 paperback
October 15, 2016 - 4.37 x 7 paperback
“Transoceanic Lights is perhaps the biggest surprise on the ‘5 Under 35’ list, and it’s the only book published by a small press. It follows a family of Chinese immigrants struggling to adjust to life in the U.S. The story line parallels Li’s own history: H left China when he was five. Li earned a medical degree before publishing his first novel, putting him in the ranks of many other doctors-turned-writers, including Abraham Verghese and Ethan Canin.”
“Ma’s childbirth scene is a killer. The full account . . . should be enough to make any of us swear off having sex, much less fabricating babies, forever and forever, amen.”
—The Review of Arts, Literature, Philosophy and the Humanities
“When Li focuses his narrative on the several tensions that threaten to tear the narrator’s family apart, the novel makes for absorbing reading. Li also has an admirable linguistic command, an ability to spin out lovely descriptions and fresh, memorable metaphors. The precision and beauty of this description works on both sensory and emotional levels….a tender and persuasive portrait of Chinese-American immigration in the post-Mao era.”
—Pleiades Book Review
“What Li accomplishes, as Lahiri and others have done before, is to put in stark relief the continuing social, emotional, and psychological consequences of the Faustian bargain struck when making the decision to leave one’s country to come to another [. . .]. Li is not afraid to say that such bargains are not only fraught with difficulty, but also sometimes doomed to failure. Nor is any failure the result of some simplified notion of a lack of will to succeed (a quintessentially Western notion). Sometimes, the cognitive dissonance is simply too great to overcome – but, sometimes, the details are simply in the journey.”
“Li creates tension with such conflicting imagery [and] examines the heart of the American experiment from an outsider’s point of view…. The rapidly deteriorating inter-family relationship mirrors the evermore fragile relationship between the narrator’s iron-willed mother and shady father. Li’s writing style is dense, great detail given to mundane objects and sights…this rush of imagery and imagination mimics the onslaught and confusion of a child in a strange land.”
—The Broadkill Review
“Labels do not adequately describe the high quality of writing, subtlety of construction, or fresh look at the subject. The writing is remarkable for its lack of self-pity. The style is fluent. It surprises, in the way a reader likes to be surprised, takes chances, and fits the story the way a seasoned novelist suits the word to the action. The shifting points of view move the story effectively. The sense of place is marvelous. I doubt there will be many better published this year. Let me be the first to welcome a serious new talent to the room.”
“Tolstoy begins Anna Karenina with “Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” Fast forward 100 or so years later to a far different setting than imperialist Russia, to the humble origins of an immigrant Chinese family in Boston, and you’ll be in the territory ofTransoceanic Lights [. . .]. Li has written a mature work with an intense quality that provides a rarely seen aspect of the Asian American experience. S. Li is a singular contribution to the immigrant narrative and a necessary new voice to the growing genre of Asian American literature.”
“The style is fluent. It surprises, in the way a reader likes to be surprised, takes chances, and fits the story the way a seasoned novelist suits the word to the action.”
“The characters are well developed, and the emotions are so intensely described that we live the book!”
“Transoceanic Lights digs deep into the emotions of love, anger, loss, betrayal, and compassion as the families discover their place in a new country. Ma and Ba offer such psychological tension. This novel is a page-turner, a must read!”
—Gloria Mindock, editor of Červená Barva Press
“The portrayal of childhood is brilliant. The characters are as vivid as if they were our own relatives. The writing is nuanced, intelligent, lyrical, sensuous. S. Li has much to teach us about other cultures and the art of the novel. A very fine novel indeed.”
—Luke Salisbury, author of Hollywood and Sunset
About the Author
S. Li was born in Guangzhou, China in 1984 and moved to the US in 1989. He graduated with an A.B. in Biochemical Sciences from Harvard in 2006 and an M.D. from the University of Massachusetts in 2010. He lives in Boston. Transoceanic Lights is his first novel.
Mr Green Jeans
released on Earth Day
INDIEFAB Finalist — Winners to be announced in June!
Chris McGee’s debut eco-novel, Mr. Green Jeans, takes you on a climate change, charged adventure. A middle-aged married couple throws caution to the wind to help the planet. Traveling from the Midwest to Southwest in a converted VW van, they clandestinely exhibit their earth messages. Their actions soon become viral, and a following erupts. But there are those who want to shut them down, and with that, Jack and Lake Creek’s lives change forever.
Meet the Characters
Jack: “Lake and I are going to paste that message around the country in as many places as we can. Ten years ago, we couldn’t have hoped to have the impact we can today, with the Internet and social media…”
Lake: “We just can’t sit still, and we’re grateful, Lillian, for our station in life to have the means to do this.”
Jack’s mom, Lillian: “I wish you could have waited until I was dead.”
Mr Green Jeans
by Chris McGee
Release date: Earth Day, April 22, 2016
Genre: Fiction, Cli-fi adventure
Praise for Mr Green Jeans
“This is the first in a series of books planned by the author to feature Jack, Lake and friends. I, for one, look forward to reading the continuing journey of these eco-stewards. Whether you are among those taking a more involved approach to helping the environment, or you are contemplating a plan of action, or you simply remember the activism of your youth, you will appreciate the message and the characters of Mr Green Jeans. And you’ll have a fine time reading this thrilling and enthralling example of the cli-fi genre.”
“Exceptionally well written from beginning to end, Mr Green Jeans is all the more impressive when considering that it is author Chris McGee’s debut venture as an eco-novelist. Mr Green Jeans is very highly recommended, especially to the attention of environmental activists, and will make an enduringly popular addition to community library General Fiction collections.”
—John Taylor, Midwest Book Review
“Mr Green Jeans” is a green book with a serious message: Protect the Earth, safeguard its treasures. Chris McGee has written a wake up call for the world, and it deserves a wide audience. He’s a natural-born storyteller, writes seamlessly, knows how to hook his readers. He hooked me, and I am looking forward to more in the series.
—DAN BLOOM, THE CLI-FI REPORT cli-fi.net
“A fun read that doubles as a tool to spur activism”
“If you’re stuck in a mid-life slump, this, well, maybe won’t solve everything, but it will get you thinking.”
“An entertaining, thought-provoking romp that will have anyone who thinks about their impact on the planet reconsidering their choices, big and small.”
—Douglas Fischer, Director, Environmental Health Sciences
“Mr. Green Jeans gives voice to the frustrations that beleaguer the minds of those who can’t escape that whisper of planetary responsibility.”
—Brien Durham, Educator
More Interviews and related press:
LA artist Zachary Cole Fernandez has started executing protest installation art as foreseen in Mr Green Jeans
Vox Magazine on Chris McGee’s new novel
Eco-fiction.com Green Jeans exposé
About the Author
Chris McGee is a writer whose passion for environment keeps him awake at night and awakens him in the morning. He understands the dire, environmental plight we currently face. Mr. Green Jeans is the first book in a series with Jack and Lake Creek, steadfast eco-stewards.
Love and Famine
A forthcoming true-fiction, historical novel by Han-ping Chin
A 9th-grader, Dapeng Liu, greets the 1949 communist victory in China with awe and confusion. While trying to shed old traditions and fit into the revolution, he’s constantly caught between incomprehensible reality and his conscience. Amid his struggles with shifting political dictates, academic and financial adversity, purges, a broken marriage, and loneliness, he learns to swim in the stormy sea of Mao’s first decades in power. As his professional achievement and ideological remolding win Party favor, he quietly maps a path to a brighter future and his lost love. One of the readers dubbed it “The Chinese Dr. Zhivago.”
This coming of age story set in China from 1949-1965 during the Mao Zedong Era portrays a fate inextricably intertwined with the way Chinese people lived during the formative stage of modern China. Han-ping Chin’s historical autobiography fills the niche left by Ha Jin, winner of the National Book Award, and other modern Chinese writers.
Love and Famine
by Han-ping Chin
Release date: September 8, 2017
Genre: True Fiction, Immigrant Fiction, Historical Fiction, Romance, Suspense
About the Author
Han-ping Chin was born in Wuhan and driven by Japanese troops to South China, where he spent his childhood in an abandoned coalmine district, a place of poverty, plagues, and superstition. He survived the war and the diseases it spread, while five of his siblings died. From 1956 to 1978, he worked as an engineer stabilizing tunnels and dams. Traveling through the provinces and living at various construction sites, he came know the people in all parts of China. In an era when propaganda replaced entertainment and friendships turned into political liabilities, he spent most of my spare time alone with the Chinese classics.
He came to the US as one of the first 52 PRC exchange scholars in 1978. Later, he received his PhD from the Mechanical Engineering Department at UC Berkeley, and registered as a civil engineer in California. Exposed to Western society and history that was heavily censored in China, he was forced to face the emotions, feelings, and memories of his earlier life that he’d thought long-since extinguished. An urge to offer a glimpse of an ancient, vanishing world to Western readers and younger generations of Chinese has lured him from his engineering profession. He’s been writing for the past thirty years, and his short stories have appeared in The Partisan Review and Willow Springs.
APPOINTMENT WITH ISIL
A forthcoming Anthony Provati Literary Thriller
by Joe Giordano
This time, Anthony’s libido threatens his life. Anthony Provati flirts with Russian mob boss, Gorgon Malakhov’s mistress. The Russian deals in death. ISIL, the Islamic State in the Levant, wants the product. Russian Intelligence supplies the means, and an art theft funds the scheme.
ISIL’s targets are chilling. The chase across the Mediterranean is on. Can Anthony thwart ISIL? Will he survive?
APPOINTMENT WITH ISIL
by Joe Giordano
Release date: June 15, 2017
Genre: Crime, Thriller, Suspense
“The threats feel very real. The plotting and writing throughout are taut and the stakes are very high. Not only are individual lives in peril, but plans are laid for massive attacks and enormous security breaches. Sales of submarines, Strontium-90 (a component of diabolical “dirty bombs”), and shoulder-launched surface-to-air missiles are all part of the high-level negotiations. Also mixed into the nefarious loot are massive amounts of heroin and three small, but priceless, Vermeer paintings…. A roller-coaster ride to the finish, this book confirms Giordano as a writer to eagerly watch.”
“If you like gritty intriguing thrillers involving the FBI, Russian/Italian mobs or Islamic Terrorists you will absolutely love this book…. The characters, the plot and prose come together for an outstanding work of contemporary Americana. PRIMO highly recommends Appointment with ISIL.
“…Giordano paints a globe where the chaotic isn’t resolved but modulated, where crime isn’t black and white but a shifting polarity of moment by moment compromises, where good often emerges out of the back alleyways of Manhattan to save the world.”
“Appointment with ISIL by Joe Giordano is a riveting chase around the world that will have gritty thriller lovers salivating for more from this talented and bold author. Action-packed, suspenseful and at times terrifying, clearly a must read for those who like hanging on the edge of the cliff by only their fingers.”
–Dianne Bylo, Five stars Tome Tender, Top 1% of Reviewers on Goodreads
“Joe Giordano’s superbly written new novel, Appointment with ISIL, is arguably an important book, providing a deeper understanding of a tumultuous world that seems hopelessly mired in a terrifying clash of cultures and belief systems. The book is a gripping socio-political thriller, taking us on a frantic chase from the tough streets of New York to Greece and Egypt and ultimately to the Vatican and Jerusalem. And with such a careful account of history, the human condition and the current state of the world, the book stands with such academic works as Waltz’s Man, The State and War. The author’s command of the language is on display throughout, and his vivid imagery and wry metaphors are real gifts for readers. His narrative, unique characters, and international settings are a pleasure to take in as we become immersed in the action. Appointment with ISIL is a must-read.”
–Daniel VanTassel, editor, The Zodiac Review
The Pen & Muse interviews Joe Giordano
J Bronder Book Reviews interviews Joe Giordano
Other fiction by Joe Giordano
About the Author
Joe Giordano’s stories have appeared in more than ninety magazines including Bartleby Snopes, The Saturday Evening Post, decomP, and Shenandoah. His novel, Birds of Passage, An Italian Immigrant Coming of Age Story, was published by Harvard Square Editions October 2015. His second novel, Appointment with ISIL, an Anthony Provati Thriller will be published by HSE in June 2017. Read the first chapters and sign up for his blog.
Joe Giordano was born in Brooklyn. He and his wife, Jane, have lived in Greece, Brazil, Belgium and the Netherlands. They now live in Texas with their shih tzu, Sophia.
The College of Corn
by Kunyang He
A tragicomic story set in a Midwest university town, The College of Corn portrays a community of overseas Chinese students and immigrants, and three fledging young woman scholars — one from Taiwan, one Mainlander, and one Hong Konger — experiencing early adulthood, the reality of the American dream, commercialized education, and romance in a troubled country and flawed academia.
Rachel, a Ph.D. student from China and the chief editor of a “notorious” local Chinese newspaper has been using the paper as a weapon for scathing criticism and as a channel for underdogs’ grievances. She is struggling with budget deficit and continual threats from the authorities and her own compatriots. The story is told from the point of view of Alex, the newspaper’s graphic designer and Rachel’s secret admirer. While the newspaper is short-staffed and facing another severe cutback, Alex meets the daughter of a Taiwanese tycoon, a stellar young scholar, who can write and seems the solution to both the problems of the paper and Alex’s unrequited love, until events take an unexpected turn.
The College of Corn
by Kunyang He
Release date: November 15, 2017
“The College of Corn captures the rhythms and textures of the lives of international students at a large midwestern university while telling a story filled with humor, pathos, and truth. Kunyang He writes with wit and a sharp eye, bringing the characters to life. The story grabbed me. I couldn’t put it down, and after I finished it I felt like I had a personal relationship with the people in the story.”
—John Nerone, the author of The Media and Public Life: A History
About the Author
Kunyang He is a Chinese author writing in English. He has written two independent films and one documentary featuring the new generation of Chinese immigrants and international students in the States. He is also a translator and an English teacher, who takes teaching very seriously. The College of Corn is his first novel.
In the Land of Eternal Spring
by Alan Howard
A Most Anticipated Small Press Book of 2017!
A poignant love story and dynamic political novel of a period in our history that resonates today
Peace Corps Volunteer Laura Jenson has a lot in common with Peter Franklin, a Fulbright Scholar, whom she meets in Guatemala City in 1963. Both of them are inspired by JFK’s call to action for a new foreign policy that would help the poor and promote democracy. What they find, however, is the reality of America’s one-dimensional Cold War policies that got us into Vietnam and radicalized a generation. They fall in love as Laura becomes involved in Guatemala’s nascent revolutionary movement.
As the political situation in Guatemala erupts, Laura draws Peter into also supporting the revolutionary movement, and they begin working together clandestinely in the city and mountains. The tension builds as the government’s security forces close in on them and then trap them in a safe house.
In The Land of Eternal Spring
by Alan Howard
Release date: June 15, 2017
Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance, International Intrigue, Literary Fiction
Praise for In the Land of Eternal Spring
Most Anticipated Small Press Books of 2017: “Set in Guatemala in the 1960s, Howard’s novel about politics, idealism, regret and lost love is not only profoundly moving but also timeless in its resonance.”
“This novel, so beautifully written and deeply felt, reads like a haunting from a forgotten past. It captures, especially through the vividly rendered characters of its young American idealists and the choices they make, a precise moment when Guatemala—and much of Latin America—seemed balanced between two destinies. It makes you ache to go back in time and change the outcome.”
—Francisco Goldman, author of Say Her Name
“Alan Howard’s novel about idealism, violence, and love in 1960s Guatemala is timeless in its resonance. The political and the personal are brilliantly intertwined from the wry, sharp-eyed opening to the profoundly moving end.”
—Dawn Raffel, author of The Secret Life of Objects
“In the Land of Eternal Spring brings us back to an era, place and U.S. governmental policy involving the covert terrorizing of other peoples. It is an era now long forgotten by some, unknown by others. Alan Howard’s way with a story and his evocative prose render this tale believable in every detail, yet larger than life: hard as steel, tender as the wisest love, and once again a terrible premonition. I am immensely grateful for this magnificent novel.”
—Margaret Randall, author of Che on My Mind
“A remarkable love story and vivid portrait of the great dilemma of our times, our national priorities and beleaguered world…. I can’t remember when a tale so carefully and cleanly crafted, so understated and straightforward, has moved me so deeply at the end.”
—John Nichols, author of The Milagro Beanfield War
“This is a truly wonderful book…. The final pages will slam you and change
your political views forever.”
—David Mangurian, author of Children of the Incas
About the Author
Alan Howard has written for The New York Times Magazine, the Nation, Dissent, public television and labor union publications about workers and politics in the US and many other countries around the world. He was a Fulbright Scholar at San Carlos University in Guatemala, an International Fellow at Columbia University, the Latin American correspondent for Liberation News Service, and a national volunteer leader in the 2008 and 2012 campaigns of Barack Obama. His novella Hollywood Furs was short-listed for the 2011 Paris Literary Prize. In the Land of Eternal Spring is his first novel.
A forthcoming Samurai Western, by Tim Blaine
A nineteenth-century drifter returns from Japan to learn that his tuberculosis has left him “weeks, months, but not years.” He embarks on a philosophical inquiry of death as he journeys on the historic overland route from New York to the Rocky Mountains. A devilish samurai mask, a cursed revolver, and his ‘romantic disease’ propel him on a Herculean adventure into the Wild West, where he hopes to subdue his fate. But the lessons he learns turn his struggles inside out when he realizes a life without end would become as desolate as a place with no summer.
by Tim Blaine
Release date: May 18, 2017
Genre: Coming of Age, Samurai Western, Suspense
About the author
An alumnus of Drury University in Springfield, MO, Tim Blaine is a member of the Springfield Writers Guild. Never Summer is his debut novel.
The epic tale of two teens
in a fight to save a warming planet . . .
the universe . . . and their love
the universe . . . and their love
A Top 10 Best Science Fiction book
New York Book Festival Honorable Mention
This cli-fi quest full of romance, honor, and adventure is the #1 Top Marinovich Fiction Read of the year
LitPick 5-Star Review Award Winner
Best of a New Genre, included in “12 Works of Climate Fiction Everyone Should Read”
Best of a New Genre, included in “12 Works of Climate Fiction Everyone Should Read”
When a smart-mouthed, mixed-race teen wonders why the work that needs to be done pays nothing compared to the busywork glorified on holovision news, the search for answers takes him on the wildest journey of anyone’s lifetime. Their planet is choked with pollution. They can’t do anything about it . . . or can they? With the girl of his dreams, he inadvertently invents living computers. Just as the human race allows corporations to pollute Earth into total desolation, institute martial law and enslave humanity, the two teens set out to save civilization. Can they thwart polluters of Earth and other fertile planets? The heroes come into their own in different kinds of relationships in this diverse, multi-cultural romance. Along the way, they enlist the help of female droid Any Gynoid, who uncovers cutting-edge scientific mysteries. Their quest takes them through the Big Bang and back. Will Starliament tear them from the project and unleash ‘intelligent’ life’s habitual pollution, or will youth lead the way to a new way of coexisting with Nature?
Nature’s Confession couldn’t be more timely, just as the IMF reveals that governments spent $5.3 trillion on fossil fuel subsidies in 2014, following talks in Lima and the largest climate change march in world history when world leaders converged for an emergency UN Climate Summit in New York City. With illustrations and topics for discussion at the back of the book, JL Morin entertains questions about busywork; economic incentives to pollute; sustainable energy; exploitation; cyborgs; the sanctity of Nature; and many kinds of relationships in this diverse, multi-cultural romance.
Meet the characters
“Honestly, it’s not my fault. I didn’t mean to invent them. Humans were polluting the planet to desolation. What else could I do? I had to save her.” —Boy
“Even though I had five more legs, I sorely wanted to bite him to make him stop sewing.” —Cuppy
“You want to talk about RACE? Humans! And you still think you’re superior, pft. Look what homosapianity has done to its own environment. Do you know how RARE planets like Earth are?” —Any Gynoid
Wuhvie, Valentine, Kendra . . . Mom . . .Yda . . . Porter . . .
“Nature’s Confession by JL Morin: The eco-novel is wonderful and reminds me of classic science fiction I watched or read as a kid. It was a genre that fascinated me then, and this book has joined that memory. The novel is epic in that it doesn’t just tell a story (which it does do too), but it puts our very survival into question while romping through the universe or discovering new quantum physics that are both scientific and spiritual in nature. In the meantime, universal symbols are unearthed, codes are investigated, fat corporations are dominating, a romance is blossoming, computers come alive, and native tribes and Nature on another planet bring our own treasured past into the future.”
“As she continues to craft creative stories that are based on prominent issues, Morin is proving herself to be one of the most interesting storytellers for teens. What allowed NATURE’S CONFESSION to resonate with me was not only the fast-paced, urgent need to save the world, but the fact that love drove so much of what happens.”
“A classic” — Fjords Review
“Adventure, satire, dystopia, all in one well-written speculative-fiction package.”
—5-heart review, Foreword Reviews
” . . . I have to say it’s one of the best books I have ever read.”
—I Love Books video reviews by Louise Colclough
by JL Morin
Two teens fight to save civilization
from ecological disaster in this unique, eco-loving cli-fi (climate fiction) adventure
Release date: January 8, 2015
Genre: Cli-fi, Science Fiction, Multicultural, Suspense
Paperback Price: $13.10
Kindle eBook: $9.99
“Morin’s novel is the literary embodiment of a distinctly different way of perceiving, and one that will no doubt work its aesthetic, as well as political “magic” on everyone who reads it, in the process transmogrifying their perception of extant social and natural reality. The kind of work that reinforces corporate domination in the world constructed by Nature’s Confession is “busywork” — a neologism that conveys precisely its function of keeping workers “busy” — so busy that they do not have time to reflect on the ecological damage that corporate operations are doing to the ecosphere — busywork keeps them locked in an ideological, or discursive, prison. The link between corporate logic and enslavement is made explicit by prefacing the names of things with an “e”, rendering eParliament, eHarvard, etc. The meaning of people’s lives has been defined by their corporate enslavement, which goes hand in hand with the incremental pollution of the planet in the name of profit….. This book should be prescribed to every student and school-going child on the planet.”
—Mail & Guardian, Dr. Bert Olivier
“Caring and flawed, the enthusiastic adolescents and their disillusioned parents are extremely likable and the fact that they care what happens to one another and what happens to the environment they share makes them sympathetic. I’ve certainly met other likable characters in other science fiction and fantasy books but as these characters seem so much more so, I asked myself why. The one word answer is generosity – the sympathetic humans and androids in this story are generous toward one another. And this spirit of generosity contrasts greatly with the greedy and malicious villains, led by the evil Emperor.”
“The variety of viewpoints give the reader a more complete view of the world the characters experience, and are a huge asset to the story.… I loved the universe Morin described. While the world clearly reflected our own Earth, there was plenty of thought and imagination put into ‘Enslaved Earth’.…The book was not only a fast-paced, entertaining read—the themes of thinking for one’s self, valuing individuality, and the corrupting power of money are woven throughout Boy’s story. The readers are called to think critically about their own lives, and their own role in enabling the greed of the human race. The author’s ability to combine intense social commentary with a genuinely enjoyable reading experience is impressive…. Fans of science fiction and dystopian novels will love Nature’s Confession, and I would recommend the book to teens and young adults interested in a fun, thought-provoking read.”
“What I enjoyed the most was the author’s ability to combine serious concerns about the environment on Earth, with a sense of humor, at times almost a double-take slapstick, and obviously her wish the polluters on earth, and the policy-makers who foster those polluters could be slapped upside of the head with a dose of reality. Instead, she gives us sublime comedy, which is much better than being preached to, or crying that the sky is falling. Although, I bet she could write a pretty good version of the Sky Is Falling.”
—Midwest Book Review, David W. Wooddell
“It was incredibly tough to come up with a favourite, but in the end, I chose on JL Morin’s, Nature’s Confession. It’s a zany, fantastical read and a product of a clearly whimsical mind. This book, however, covers some serious and important topics that are affecting the planet we live on, so very relevant. It reminded me a little of Star Trek, infused with The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, and a little Dr Who thrown in the wonderful mix.”
“Points to Morin for writing a diverse character without emphasizing his ethnicity . . . . This is a book that gets better the second time around . . . . NC crosses the bridge between teen and adult fiction, and may aspire to be appointed as a new classic.”
“Such an evocative book”
“What I found most riveting about J.L. Morin’s Nature’s Confession is the concept of busywork. Her young hero is disgusted by how most people are trapped being kept so busy that they have blinders toward the bigger picture and how the planet is being harmed. Aren’t we all so wrapped up in our own lives and stress and work that we feel unable to get involved or make a change or start a revolution that will put a stop to climate change? I applaud the author for showing so creatively and cleverly the consequences of our busywork.”
“J.L. Morin has done an excellent job of getting her message across in a way that provides moments of humor, danger and adventure for younger readers. The discussion topic at the end would provide an opportunity to raise awareness in the classroom and encourage youngsters to ‘go green’ at every opportunity as they become aware that Earth is our home and depends on us as much as we depend on it.”
“There is no doubt that this cli-fi (Climate Fiction) piece has a unique plot and creative characters who inhabit not only Earth, but Grod and Phira as well. Of note is Cuppy, a many-tailed pet. There is an educational aspect to the work, with questions for discussion at the end.”
“The characters were so beautifully created that they jumped out of the pages into my mind and touched my heart.”
“Nature’s Confession is a riveting contribution to the burgeoning field of climate fiction, providing an imaginative, powerful call for sustainable action over the myopia of corporate logic.”
—Dr. Pietari Kääpä, Lecturer in Communications,
Media and Culture, University of Stirling
“Witty, with a keen eye for the absurd, Nature’s Confession puts an ambitious new spin on environmental protection.”
—Fintan O’Higgens, Television Writer
“JL Morin’s Nature’s Confession challenges readers to consider a future for Earth, balanced precipitously on the edge of uncontrolled greed. Could one family change the course of history? Read the book!”
—White House-based Freelance Journalist, Kris Anderson
The Associated Press covered cli-fi books being turned into movies in an article called, “Climate change inspires rise of ‘cli-fi’ flicks”
NPR on the new strain of fiction: “The genre has come to be called climate fiction — cli-fi, for short.”
The Washington Post gets behind cli-fi in ‘Climate change has created a new literary genre’ saying, “. . . fiction can stir emotion and action in a way scientific reports and newscasts don’t.”
A panel on Climate Change Narratives discussed the new genre at London 3, the World Science Fiction Convention, August, 2014. Cli-fi made it on to the agenda of the Edinburgh International Book Festival in 2014 for the first time in an event for schools.
Praise for Sazzae
“Morin’s wit can be delicious.”
— Canberra Times
“Her most delightful descriptions are of the intrigues in the personal lives of the protagonists.”
— The Harvard Crimson
Praise for Trading Dreams
“…vivid scenes at a kinky sex club on the outskirts of Greenwich Village with references to the bursting economic bubble and the federal government’s bank bailout.”
“Occupy’s 1st bestselling novel”
“…exposing enough greed, hypocrisy, and blatant illegality to make even the least informed reader deliciously angry.”
“An ideal read for suspense lovers interested in the current financial crisis.”
About the Author
Novelist and rooftop farmer, J.L. Morin grew up in inner city Detroit and wrote her Japan novel, Sazzae as her thesis at Harvard. It was a Gold medalist in the eLit Book Award, and a Living Now Book Award winner. She took to the road, traveling around the world, worked as a TV newscaster, and wrote three more novels. Adjunct faculty at Boston University, J. L. Morin is the author of USA Best Book Awards finalist Travelling Light, and ‘Occupy’s 1st bestselling novel’ Trading Dreams, a humorous story that unmasks hypocrisy in the banking industry and tosses corruption onto the horns of the Wall Street bull. She writes for the Huffington Post, and Library Journal, Sustainable Cites Collective, and has written for The Harvard Advocate, Harvard Yisei, Detroit News, Agence France-Presse, Cyprus Weekly, European Daily, Livonia Observer Eccentric Newspapers, the Harvard Crimson and others.
Launch events and readings
6 October Gatsby Books Long Beach 3pm
31 October Bluestockings bookshop New York
5 November PACC Milpitas CA
Selina, a beautiful, British-born Pakistani young woman recently lost her father, and finds herself struggling to cope with life, in particular with some aspects of her studies. Matters go from bad to worse, when a trusted family friend from the mosque offers to tutor her, and rapes her instead. With the threat of dishonour to her family at her back, Selina goes to extreme lengths to avoid scandal, and prevent shame being brought to her widowed mother’s door. It will take all the strength and courage Selina can muster when her life travels down a dangerous path, from which there may be no return…
by Abda Khan
Release date: October 3, 2016
Genre: Crime, Romance, Thriller
“loaded with painful lessons from the contemporary immigrant experience”
—The Weekly Voice
“Khan has written a contemporary Tess of the D’Urbervilles, a heart-wrenching and engrossing tale that challenges the definition of morality through the story of a wronged young woman fighting to come to terms with harsh realities and finding empowerment along the way.”
—Booklist, Caitlin Brown
“The depiction of how a conservative community, emotional blackmail, and rape culture all lead to an intelligent young woman to not report her sexual assault is realistic and therefore upsetting. But what I enjoyed most about this novel was how ultimately, the story was about Selina’s strength and growth as a survivor. The title and (current) book cover may not indicate this, but Selina emerges a stronger person out of this ordeal. In the end, she refuses to allow her life to be defined by the men around her, whether they are positive or negative influences in it. She wants to carve out a life of her own and define its parameters herself. This feminist message strengthens the story and provides an important perspective.”
“One of the things I love in stories about Muslim women is when they are actually by Muslim women. I really liked this book, both for how it delicately addressed taboos and for the fact that it adds to a body of work where Muslim voices and narratives are lacking. Stained is a gripping read. 10/10 would read again.”
“…this book is so important; diverse read; hard-hitting, emotionally-charged subject matter; super short, but SO SO heavy; Selina’s story is one of strength and poise in the face of adversity, of finding yourself despite the darkness threatening to swallow you; this book touched me deeply.”
—Betwixt These Pages
“This book was a page turner! Totally gripping, and inspiring.”
—Dr Sana Rashid, New Jersey, USA
“Stained examines the pressures of cultural taboos and sensitivities faced by women in society, and how they affect their life profoundly. Ultimately, it explores human endurance in the face of extreme adversity, and the extent to which, eventually, one is left with nothing but hope. The plot and characters draw the reader in from the very first page. Abda Khan has skilfully produced a novel that is both compelling and thought-provoking. A thoroughly captivating book.”
—Julian Knight, former BBC Journalist, Member of the British Parliament
“Stained draws readers in with the effortless combination of an intense storyline that is tinged with elements of the unexpected. Khan’s skillful characterisation facilitates a relationship with the heroine, and allows the reader to become immersed in her world….The narrative is fast-paced, the storyline is gripping, and the characters are engaging. The novel tackles many pressing cultural, social and moral issues that are prevalent in the Pakistani/Muslim and other Asian communities in Britain today, particularly pertaining to the position and rights of women. Khan’s masterful characterisation and dramatic plot lend an eloquent voice to women who currently do not have a voice at all, and expose the traumatic abuse faced by women in many cultures.”
“Whoever picks up this novel will witness the horrifying build up to sexual abuse, and all through a victim’s perspective….Stained is a vitally important novel for the British Asian community. It unearths truths that have long simmered beneath the surface, and Abda Khan is extremely brave to bring them to light.”
“The author does an amazing job with positioning us inside the perspective of a victim. A lot of times, people, assume that a survivor of rape doesn’t go through anything else. We often ignore the fact that it is a everlasting trauma that reoccurs and can be triggered by so many things”
“An inspiring and empowering story about a young British Muslim girl’s determination for independence and self-regulation. Selina’s story is captivating, with so many twists and turns that I read it in one sitting!”
—Mrs Rehana Hanif, Yorkshire, UK – Reviewer
“Stained, no doubt, is a voice for women, loud and clear, from highlighting the unfair treatment of daughters, to disregarding of girls rights to education and most importantly to their consent in all its forms. Selina, goes on to achieve the unthinkable in this story by fighting for her name on her own, and in the end clearing her name of the dishonor that had befallen her.”
“Selina is a superb character – very easy to like and empathise with, and her voice feels completely natural and real. I also love the way Abda has woven in the various strands about culture and identity, and the cultural clash that takes place in the homes and hearts of South Asian families in Britain. The differing viewpoints of Selina and her mother come across very sharply, but with a warmth that’s often lacking. I found the story to be dark and shocking in places, but this only added to my enjoyment of it. Stained showcases what, for me, is the often almost hopeless reality of life for so many girls, and the ending, although sad, is refreshingly honest and real. I love that it’s set in Bradford and Brum, and that Abda has left no stone unturned, especially in dealing with patriarchy and the predatory nature of some men. I thoroughly enjoyed it.”
—Bali Rai, celebrated British Asian teenage fiction author of Dream On, selected for the Book Trust’s inaugural Booked Up list
“Lawyer and author Abda Khan will tell you she has no professional training as a writer, but real life experience proved more than enough preparation for her debut novel, Stained.”
Shaktistri Interview with Abda Khan
Ravi Magazine Interview with Abda Khan
Yorkshire Post Interview with Abda Khan
Article by Abda Khan
News: “The threats and abuse outspoken Pakistani women receive” — BBC
Abda Khan’s web site
Abda Khan is the seventh of eight children born to Pakistani immigrant parents. Abda was the first child in her family to go on to higher education. She is a lawyer with her own practice. Stained is her debut novel.