Thursday, September 8, 2011

Celebrating the Launch of Nadelson's Newest

Do you enjoy a fun party? Do you enjoy beautifully written short stories, albeit on the longish side? If your answers are yes, then we have the perfect Friday evening planned for you! Friday, September 9th -- yes, that's tomorrow night -- at 7 pm we join with Hawthorne Books to celebrate the launch of the newest collection of short stories from Scott Nadelson. In Aftermath, Scott's third collection of stories, his characters live in the wake of momentous events, finding new ways of forging on with their lives: "In this new collection, I’ve been drawn, as the title suggests, to write about aftermaths—the period following a significant loss or rupture rather than the moment of loss or rupture itself. What fascinates me about these periods is how people accommodate themselves to their new circumstances, how they fit loss or change into their understanding of the world and of themselves, and how, often, what starts out as rupture leads to growth."

Scott's first collection of stories, Saving Stanley: The Brickman Stories, won an Oregon Book Award and his second collection, The Cantor's Daughter, was a finalist for an Oregon Book Award. Both books were published by Hawthorne Books. He is currently working on a collection of essays/stories that form a kind of loose autobiography: The Next Scott Nadelson: A Life in Process, will be published by Hawthorne in 2012.

Scott has the distinction of being born on Kafka's 90th birthday; make of that what you will. He grew up in New Jersey a few miles a way from the mental hospital where Bob Dylan famously visited Woody Guthrie. Now he lives in Salem just a few miles away from the mental hospital where One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest was filmed. Again, make of that what you will. Or ask Scott what he makes of it.

While in high school, listening to his dad's early Bob Dylan records turned him on to the use of language to "externalize the voiceless angst that often had me tied up in knots. He tried his hand at poetry, but soon found that short stories were his genre. "More and more what draws me to a story is the sound of its voice. Above all else, storytelling is seduction, and different readers are seduced by different voices....When I'm writing now, I spend a lot of time trying to find the right sound for a story....If the voice sounds right, then it takes me to places I couldn't have expected." Scott says that in particular he finds himself "exploring the ways in which characters' fears undermine their desires."

He teaches creative writing in the English department at Willamette University, holding the Hallie Ford Chair in Writing. "Teaching is as much a passion for me as writing, and I strongly believe that the teaching of creative writing, particularly on the undergraduate level and in a liberal arts context, complements studies in literature.  My primary aim in creative writing courses is to teach students to read closely, from a writer's perspective."

Scott's publisher, the wonderful Hawthorne Books, will be providing goodies -- solids and liquids -- as we celebrate the launch of Aftermath. We hope you can join us for the evening -- it's free, and it's sure to offer a good time for all!

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