THE BOOK: Maniac Drifter
PUBLISHED IN: August 1, 2016
THE AUTHOR: Laura Marello
THE EDITOR: Michael Mirolla
THE PUBLISHER: Guernica Editions
SUMMARY: When Harper Martin drifts into a sleepy Cape Cod resort with a mysterious investment plan, he unleashes a firestorm involving the F.B.I., the State Department, the government of Nicaragua, and the J. Paul Getty Museum. Laura Marello’s hilarious new novel features a surreal cast of characters, among them the Souza Family (“Provincetown’s version of the Kennedys. They were handsome, glamorous, Catholic and doomed”), Voodoo Woman, and a parrot named Sydney Greenstreet.
We come to know them all—fishermen, artists, drug dealers, owners of bars both gay and straight—through the lens of a winsome young amnesiac whose own past is shrouded in mystery. Marello’s passion for art and film, seen in her earlier work, helps propel the action forward to its riotous conclusion; her love for the glorious foibles of our human nature, rendered with compassion as well as humor, keeps us caring about what happens. (Constance Solari)
THE BACK STORY: I had a writer’s fellowship at the Fine Arts Work Center Provincetown in 1981-82. After I left I wanted to write a book set in Provincetown because I found the class of cultures in the community so interesting.
WHY THIS TITLE? Sums up the characters’ condition, situation, problem.
WHY SOMEONE WOULD WANT TO READ IT: Fun, funny, moves fast, but has profound meanings and tackles important issues.
“Maniac Drifter is a first-rate novel, stylistically alive to the sounds, smells, and sights of unorthodox Provincetown in the 1980s. Marello’s new novel shows Provincetown’s carnival mindset, disguises, and everyday theater, and forgiveness that shames much of conventional America. The book is rich with the backdrop of Provincetown’s history as a fishing community, and artists’ community. The young heroine is the witness; her vision is vicarious. She suffers a specific amnesia, which forms the deep mystery of the novel. She is also involved with the central “crime” of the novel that seeks resolution. What she will not remember leaves her non-judgmental but in pain. Only the townspeople in Provincetown can help, almost allowing her to love again, leaving the reader to hope that she will, someday. What a very fine writer, and explorer of people and place we have in Laura Marello! — Paul Nelson, author of Burning the Furniture
AUTHOR PROFILE: Laura Marello is from New York, and grew up in California. She has had her first five books published. She has received National Endowment for the Arts award, Stegner Fellowship, Fine Arts Work Center Fellowship and residencies at MacDowell, Yaddo, Millay, Montalvo, Djerassi, and OCARC. Her poetry chapbook Balzac’s Robe was second finalist in New Women’s Voices Award from Finishing Line Press. First novel Claiming Kin was a finalist for the Paterson Award in Fiction. Her story collection, The Gender of Inanimate Objects, is currently shortlisted for the Saroyan Prize from Stanford University Libraries. In 2012, two actors in Paris staged a bilingual reading of her Paris novel, The Tenants of the Hotel Biron, at the Gallerie Ivana Gavardie.
AUTHOR COMMENTS: this book shows very disparate groups in Provincetown coming together as a community to help an artist. I am very excited that Guernica Editions has published it, and I hope people will like it.
WHERE ELSE TO BUY IT: Barnes and Noble online and Amazon online
CONTACT THE AUTHOR: firstname.lastname@example.org