(Photo by Greg Shield)
OUR CURRENTLY FEATURED BOOKS, “PETER’S MOONLIGHT PHOTOGRAPHY AND OTHER STORIES,” BY DINA RABADI, “HISTORY OF GONE,” BY LYNN SCHMEIDLER AND “GET BACK,” BY DON TASSONE, CAN BE FOUND BY SCROLLING DOWN BELOW THIS POST, OR BY CLICKING THE AUTHOR’S NAME ON OUR AUTHORS PAGE.
We dream of love in spring, pursue it in summer, and celebrate it in winter. Fall usually gets lost along the way.
For Dawn Lajeunesse, however, the year’s third season provided the perfect backdrop for her first of three published novels, “Autumn Leaves.” Something about the tumbling leaves and shrinking daylight reminds us of our mortality, and sometimes — as in the case of Dawn’s main character — prompts sober speculation on how our lives could have turned out differently.
“New writers are told to ‘write what you know,'” Dawn says. “Autumn Colors is a fictionalized version of a personal struggle with letting go of a lost love and learning to cherish, unequivocally, the man I married.
“The memories drawn from to form the story took place in autumn.”
This week’s two other featured books, Stephanie Han’s “Swimming in Hong Kong” and Sadre-Orofai’s”Malak,” also have their roots in personal history and reflection.
“The stories cross the borders and boundaries of Hong Kong, Korea, and the United States,” writes Stephanie. “This is an intimate look at those who dare to explore the geography of hope and love, struggle with dreams of longing and home, and wander in the myths of memory and desire. The stories explore the personal conflict that arises when we confront difference, the role of women in multiple cultural contexts, and the struggles of how we invent and remake ourselves, forever led by feelings of love, curiosity, and pathos.”
Adds Jenny: “It’s very important to me to be who I am even if I am reminded constantly how this country or the world feels about me, an Iranian-Mexican-American woman. I really wanted to let people into what it is like to be me as much as I could. It’s also my hope that people come to the book open and willing to learn not only about other cultures but about those things we can’t explain (like clairvoyance and psychokinesis).”
UPCOMING ON SNOWFLAKES IN BLIZZARD, OCTOBER 16-22.
“MALAK,” BY JENNY SADRE-OROFAI.”
More from Jenny on her collection of mixed verse and prose: “I think the collection is unique in that it explores what is passed down from generation to generation but not in just physical traits. This can also include psychic gifts. The book also consists of poetry and prose. This is partially because I really admire collections where you can tell the writer/poet allowed it to be what it needed to be and sometimes that means including multiple genres.”
“SWIMMING IN HONG KONG,” BY STEPHANIE HAN.
Notes Viet Thanh Nguyen, whose first novel won a Pulitzer Prize: “Stephanie Han’s Swimming in Hong Kong features precise and subtle meditations on cross-cultural experiences, from Asian Americans in the Midwest and Asia to women negotiating male-dominated worlds. Han gracefully traverses a complicated terrain fraught with the politics of race, sex, class, gender, and culture. Readers will be grateful for having spent time with these quiet and insightful stories.”
AUTUMN COLORS,” BY DAWN LAJEUNESSE.
Nearly everyone has one or more losses that impacted their lives in a powerful way. It’s the kind of novel that lets the reader immerse herself (or himself) in the emotions attached to those losses. As one reviewer said: “This talented author knows how to evoke emotion, so much so that delving into her work hurts….Autumn Colors is an enlightening, though often aching, reflection on young love brought to a catastrophic end and a poignant description of spiritual healing.”