1. The Shark Curtain


Shark Curtain

THE BOOK: “The Shark Curtain”

PUBLISHED IN: April 2015

THE AUTHOR:  Chris Scofield


THE PUBLISHER: Akashic Books (Black Sheep, YA), Brooklyn.

Chris ScofieldSUMMARY: It’s written rather episodically, and not conventionally plotted which suits our heroine Lily Asher. Here’s my synopsis from www.powells.com:

Set against the changing terrain of middle-class values and the siren calls of art and puberty, The Shark Curtain invites us into Lily Asher’s wonderful, terrible world. The older of two girls growing up in suburban Portland, Oregon, in the mid-1960s, her inner life stands in quirky contrast to the loving but dysfunctional world around her.

Often misunderstood by her flawed but well-intentioned parents, teenage Lily orbits their tumultuous love affair, embracing what embraces her back: the ghost of her drowned dog, a lost aunt, numbers, shoe boxes, werewolves, rituals, and stories she pens herself (including one about a miscarried sibling she dubs “Frog Boy”). With “regular” visits from a wisecracking Jesus, an affectionate but combative friendship is born—a friendship that strains Lily’s grasp of reality as much as her patience.

From the violence of a peeping tom and catching Mom in flagrante delicto with the neighbor to jungles in her closet, butlers under her bed, and barking in public, Lily struggles to balance her family’s expectations with the visions that continue to isolate her.

Dark, funny, and thoughtful, Chris Scofield’s debut novel, The Shark Curtain, details thirteen-to-sixteen-year-old Lily’s first steps on her strange but loving journey to self-acceptance and belonging.

BACK STORY:  This is from my blog interview with “Literary Ashland”:  “I worked on SHARK, on and off, for years; I wrote short stories and started other novels when I wasn’t working on it . . . How did it come about? Inspiration, for me anyway, is two-thirds daydream, one-third memoir. After a while, your stories have lives of their own and SHARK was particularly tenacious.”

WHY THIS TITLE?: It’s a metaphor that runs throughout the book. It’s set up in the first chapter when our heroine watches a TV show where a scuba diver confronts a shark underwater. The “shark curtain” is where blurry water becomes clear and the danger (or lack of) is realized. It’s where the unknown and reality meet, where reality finally asserts itself.

WHY WOULD SOMEONE WANT TO READ IT?  They might be attracted by the cover (thanks, Will Amato), blurbs, reviews. Ditto the synopsis on the back of the book.


“Brilliant, engaging, engulfing, fulfilling, beautiful. The Shark Curtain will turn you inside out and make you see the world differently. As well you should. As well we all should. Because life isn’t about having the answers, it’s about grappling with the questions. Chris Scofield’s fantastically fantastic novel pins the tail on the donkey with a pneumatic nail gun–I absolutely insist that you read this book!”

Garth Stein, New York Times best-selling author of The Art of Racing in the Rain

 “Dynamic…[Protagonist Lily Asher] comes to glorious, heartbreaking, embraceable, vibrant life courtesy of the experiences, heart and immense imagination and talent of Eugene author Chris Scofield.”

The Register-Guard

“Chris Scofield has written a young adult novel that doesn’t compromise integrity for trendiness….It’s complex and quirky…there can be no doubt as to its uniqueness.”


“Those who prefer edgy period fiction with truly original characters will be fascinated by this glimpse into the mind of an unmedicated non-neurotypical teen struggling to come of age in the ’60s.”

The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

AUTHOR PROFILE: Chris Scofield is a freelance novelist and published short story writer. A former special education teacher, she also taught art and preschool and worked as a children’s librarian, silk screener, secretary, fry cook, taco peddler, hot tub salesman, Bluebird leader, artists model, and ACLU jail liaison. Chris studied with authors Ursula Le Guin and Tom Spanbauer, won the Lane Literary Award (for her short story “Old Fucker LaVert”), and was published in Pacifica, Hot Air Quarterly, and the women’s anthology Mexico: A Love Story (Seal Press). She lived in Boston, MA and on the coast of Oaxaca and travels extensively. Chris writes, studies the cello, and makes art in Eugene, Oregon where she lives with her husband and two goldfish.

AUTHOR COMMENTS:http://chrisscofieldauthor.com/authors-statement/


LOCAL OUTLETS:  “Local” for me is Eugene, Oregon where you can buy THE SHARK CURTAIN at Tsunami Books, Smith Family Bookstore, The Duck Store (UO), and Barnes & Noble. Possibly other stores too.

WHERE ELSE TO BUY IT: Powell’s (Portland, Oregon), Annie Bloom’s Books (Portland, OR), Elliott Bay Books (Seattle), DIESEL, A Bookstore (Oakland, CA) and online at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Powell’s, and Akashic Books. SHARK has been seen in various independent bookstores around the country and even at Mall of America.

PRICE:  Varies. $14 paperback.

CONTACT THE AUTHOR: You can contact me on Facebook (scofield2363) or Twitter (ChrisScofield2) or my website (chrisscofieldauthor.com)

Published by


Recently retired after 35 years with the News & Advance newspaper in Lynchburg, VA, now re-inventing myself as a novelist/nonfiction writer and writing coach in Lake George, NY.

One thought on “1. The Shark Curtain”

  1. Good morning.  My novel Daffodils and Fireflies was recently published by Moonshine Cove Publishing in South Carolina.  The early reviews have been good, with Les Roberts saying it’s ” . . . an emotional voyage that hurts and enlightens,” and Deanna Adams writing “You’ll be moved by this work of women’s fiction.”  The publisher describes the writing as “lyrical,” and a local librarian told me it’s poetic. I’m proud of this book whose female protagonist lives and works in downtown Cleveland but goes home to the family farm, Windy Hill, in Conneaut, when she finds out her mother has cancer.  As the book unfolds, Betsy, a magazine editor who controls her staff with meanness, is blind to her discontent and anxiety, but like most of us, one of life’s biggest events–the imminent death of her artistic mother–forces her to re-evaluate.  When her old boyfriend shows up at the funeral, we wonder, as much as Tom does, why Betsy ended the relationship; we soon discover that a secret she’s kept for 25 years has been festering, and until she comes clean, she will be stuck in the unrelenting business of publishing a magazine and ignoring her family.  As Betsy exchanges letters with Tom and reads her mother’s journal entries and tender letters from her estranged father, she begins to understand just how far she’s journeyed away from who she was as a girl.  Her problems began when she was sexually abused by her mother’s boyfriend in her 16th summer. I’ve written three other books, all non-fiction:  Ohio’s Lake Erie Wineries, Ohio’s Canal Country Wineries, and 30 Perfect Days, Finding Abundance in Ordinary Life.  Over the last twenty years, I’ve written over 300 lifestyle pieces for magazines, including The Cleveland Plain Dealer Sunday Magazine, Northern Ohio Live, The WineBuzz, Yahoo!, Paralegal Today, Sip, Long Weekends, and Cool Cleveland.  I live in North Olmsted, and work as a business transactional paralegal at a downtown Cleveland law firm. Let me know if you’d like to review the book and I’ll send a copy to you.   Thank you. Claudia Taller440-554-6406claudiajtaller.com   From: Snowflakes in a Blizzard To: claudia.taller@yahoo.com Sent: Friday, October 16, 2015 8:31 AM Subject: [New post] 1. The Shark Curtain #yiv4114313707 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv4114313707 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv4114313707 a.yiv4114313707primaryactionlink:link, #yiv4114313707 a.yiv4114313707primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv4114313707 a.yiv4114313707primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv4114313707 a.yiv4114313707primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv4114313707 WordPress.com | writersbridgebridgebuilder posted: “OUR OTHER CURRENTLY FEATURED BOOK, “TELL ME A STORY, TELL ME THE TRUTH,” BY GINA ROITMAN, CAN BE FOUND BY SCROLLING DOWN BELOW THIS POST.THE BOOK: “The Shark Curtain”PUBLISHED IN: April 2015THE AUTHOR:  Chris ScofieldTHE EDITOR: JL Powers.TH” | |


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