New novels coming out in Autumn 2019: My Perfect Cousin by Colin O’Sullivan, The Assisted Living Facility Library by Richard Kalich, They All Fall Down by Kim Hood.
Rural Ireland in the late 1980s and stuck in a rut in a small unnamed village are fifteen-year-old cousins Laura and Kevin. The close cousins ache to abscond to somewhere bigger, better, where they are free to become who they really are. But things are holding them back. As well as having to cope with family tragedies, the troubled, music-obsessed teens must also negotiate the tricky terrain of burgeoning sexuality, the pitfalls of adolescence. The months and the spiraling family crises serve only to bring them closer together: but how close is too close?
Award-winning Irish writer Colin O’Sullivan returns to a familiar (and formative) Irish setting with My Perfect Cousin. Although rooted in the 1980s, this fraught and frantic work is startlingly relevant, with fractured families, illness and ill-will, teenage tantrums and taboos – all which will inevitably come to a head one chilling winter.
Richard Kalich’s new novel is a culmination of his decades-long exploration of the human soul and the capstone of his literary output that Betimes Books is proud to have assembled in an omnibus edition called Central Park West Trilogy. This forth novel is an honest and brutal self-assessment, a meditation on life and art, and the sacrifice of one to the other. Written in Kalich’s deceptively simple and spare style that seems effortless, but where each word carries the weight of years of writing, reflections, sacrifices, The Assisted Living Facility Library is a heart-breaking metafictional masterpiece by a tragic humanist.
As writer and critic Trevor Dodge wrote in his Afterword, this novel is “…the human condition stripped bare and left wriggling for us to see: in the presence of overwhelming evidence that our lives are cosmically inconsequential, there are nevertheless efforts we make every day to make them seem less so, particularly in who we spend our time and thoughts with. The Writer is someone particularly attune to this phenomenon, and Richard Kalich more than particular in his attunements.”
“It’s possible that [Richard Kalich] has written the last postmodern novel; or maybe the last twentieth-century novel; or maybe the last novel, period.” —Brian McHale, literary theorist
It is 1994. Rosie—a 17-year-old Irish girl–has been sent to look after her Rwandan grandmother. Callie—an 18-year-old Canadian girl–is looking forward to volunteering for an aid organisation in Rwanda. Both are going to Rwanda to escape their lives at home. Neither Callie nor Rosie is prepared for Rwanda. Nor do they want to see how similar they are, despite their different backgrounds and experiences. They are both struggling with questions of where they fit, and who they truly are. When the Rwandan president’s plane is shot down, sparking the most horrific genocide in history, they are forced to face fundamental truths. Rosie must learn to lead, and fight to survive. Callie must accept that she cannot make the world as she would wish it. And then there is Blessing—the 11-year-old Rwandan who wins the heart of both Rosie and Callie…
Already familiar with Africa, Kim Hood travelled to Rwanda in 2017, after an extensive research of the genocide, to see where some of the worst atrocities in recent history had occured, and to try to understand: Why do we forget so quickly?