Posts Tagged Massachusetts
Stories by John Vanderslice
RELEASE DATE: October 1, 2014
This thematic, novel-length collection of stories, is set on Nantucket Island, Massachusetts. Nantucket as we know it began as an English settlement relatively early in the colonial period of the United States. In the heyday of its nineteenth century success as a whaling center, the island, for being as small as it is, was quite the cosmopolitan center. Sailors from across the globe mingled with the mixed local population of descendents of the original English settlers, black Americans, and native Americans. Today too Nantucket is known as being especially open to visitors from around the world. When one travels there, one feels that one is no longer in the United States but in a culturally indistinct, in-between land, somehow equidistant from North America, the Caribbean, and Northern Europe.
Vanderslice has written an engrossing collection of stories that spans a little over 200 years. Set in Nantucket, the tales cover the darker side of the beautiful little island and its inhabitants. Bigotry, jealousy, betrayal, greed, religious indifference, and murder are just a few of the topics covered in this evocative novel.
The chronological order in which this is written makes it a bitter reminder that mankind has advanced in many ways, but there are some things that will never change. Believable, entertaining, and quite haunting is my best description. Great read!
ABOUT THIS LITERARY CHEF
John Vanderslice hails from southern Maryland, specifically the eccentric community of Moyaone. After twelve years of Catholic schooling, and too many summers working as a lifeguard, he left the southern Maryland woods to attend the University of Virginia. In 1991, he received his MFA in the Poetry Writing program at George Mason University, where he studied under Peter Klappert and Susan Tichy and started teaching writing to college freshmen at GMU and Northern Virginia Community College-Annandale. In 1993, he entered the Ph.D program in the English Department at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette. He is now an Associate Professor in the Department of Writing at UCA, teaching fiction writing, poetry writing, and nonfiction writing both to undergraduates and to graduate students in the new Arkansas Writers MFA Workshop. He also serves as associate editor of Toad Suck Review magazine. More than seventy of his stories, poems, essays, and one-act plays have appeared in literary journals and anthologies, including Seattle Review, Versal, Sou’wester, Laurel Review, Crazyhorse, The Pinch, Southern Humanities Review, 1966, Squalorly, Foliate Oak, Red Wheelbarrow, and Exquisite Corpse. Some of the anthologies are Redacted Story, Chick for a Day, The Best of the First Line: Editors’ Picks 2002-2006, and Tartts: Incisive Fiction from Emerging Writers.