Forthcoming: A Man Made Long Ago by Richard Kalich

2020 releases: Soul Catcher by Dimitri Bortnikov, Marshmallows by Colin O’Sullivan

2019 releases: My Perfect Cousin by Colin O’Sullivan, The Assisted Living Facility Library by Richard Kalich, They All Fall Down by Kim Hood, David Lazar by Robert Kalich.

A Man Made Long Ago by Richard Kalich

Each new novel from Richard Kalich is at once a natural progression and a surprise. Sharp, observant, erudite, attuned to our times, he is a writer who endlessly innovates. This time, he offers his readers an “instanovel” and captures the best of the Instagram concept – the poetry of communication through images.

“As the years progressed, my use of words became less rather than more. Instead of obsessive modernist detail and the omniscient narrator, I turned to metafiction. I honed in on clarity, economy, precision, and accountability to not only myself, the writer, but first and foremost to the reader. My mantra became writing is dialogue, not monologue; communal sharing, not self-referential isolationism.” —Richard Kalich, from an interview in Rain Taxi Review

Coming out in March 2021

Soul Catcher by Dimitri Bortnikov

Translated from the French by Svetlana Pironko, in collaboration with Dimitri Bortnikov

The first English translation of the Russian-born French writer Dimitri Bortnikov, finalist of the Russian Booker Prize and the National Bestseller Award for his first novel, The Fritz Syndrom, and winner of the French award Best novel of the Year 2017 (Lire Magazine) for his latest book, Face au Styx.

Soul Catcher (original title: Repas de morts ) is the first novel written by Bortnikov in French and published by Editions Allia in 2011, to overwhelming critical acclaim.

“This strange novel – partly autobiographical – is built as a succession of reminiscences and dreamlike images of the steppe, the tundra and Paris. But no matter what the story is – what matters here is the power of his writing, harsh and infused with venomous poetry.” —Baptiste Léger, L’Express

Available here

Marshmallows by Colin O’Sullivan

Suburban London. It’s Christmas Eve, and semi-retired affluent actor Charles Cunningham waits for his son and his son’s boyfriend to arrive. He gazes at his ornate tree, wondering why it looks perilously close to toppling over… just like the tumultuous night that lies ahead of him.

Ben Morrigan – the guest, the boyfriend – is making Christmas crackers. When they get pulled apart, what kind of truth is going to come spilling out?

Ghosts of Christmases past are on their way for both the hunter and the hunted in this terse literary thriller, and no one is going to get out unscathed this holiday season. Readers will have to figure out – just like thespian Charles – whether the play they find themselves in is a revenge tragedy, a macabre comedy, or a morality tale. Whatever it is, it is about to have its curtain raised…

Available here

My Perfect Cousin by Colin O’Sullivan

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.

Available here

The Assisted Living Facility Library by Richard Kalich

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

Available here

They All Fall Down by Kim Hood

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 occurred, and to try to understand: Why do we forget so quickly?

Available here

David Lazar by Robert Kalich

At twilight of one’s life, mortality is no longer an abstract notion. As David Lazar, now in his eighties, undertakes a perilous journey into his own soul, his thoughts drift from his happy childhood in Manhattan to his friends, business associates, and the women he had loved and lost, until he met his soulmate, Elizabeth Dunn.

Haunted by a dark secret and the ruthless nature of the business that made him rich, Lazar is torn between the need to confess and redeem himself and the fear of losing what he cherishes most: the love and respect of his wife and his only son. But is there any redemption for wealth based on corruption?

Blurring the lines between memoir and fiction, Robert Kalich narrates the story of a man who bears much resemblance to the novelist himself, but defeats narcissism by exposing brutal realities of his character’s life and uncomfortable truths of one’s innermost being.

Available here