Saturday, October 6, 2018
Asteronga, New York: New Edition 2018
Originally published in 2013, the eleven stories collected in Asteronga, New York have been re-published in a newly formatted and revised edition.
On Amazon in two formats: Kindle at $2.99 and paperback at $9.95
Set in a mythical Mohawk Valley town, the linked stories trace the boyhood and young adulthood of the central character from about 1959 to 1970:
Juliana's Little Cemetery describes a cemetery for pets created by an undertaker's daughter. When a smaller neighborhood boy volunteers to help her with the project, Juliana comes to accepts the steady supply of dead animals and birds that he provides. It is only by accident that she discovers exactly how the boy obtains the candidates for her graveyard.
Jimmy Jenko Was My Double resembled the narrator so closely that he was always getting blamed for the other boy's misdeeds, from arson to brandishing knives.
People Who Live in the Feeney Flats were the kind of people to avoid, as three boys learned when they set out a rescue a stolen rabbit and discovered a murder.
How Willie Zimmerman Got Crippled: Two boys set a trap for the local misfit, convinced he is a danger to children.
My Sister Elizabeth Was Different: She was a terrific athlete in great contrast to her brothers and happened to be there when a boy rose from the dead in Kubichek's funeral home.
Snowstorm in Lover's Lane: The narrator becomes convinced that the girl he loves is trapped in a car buried under the snow on a local lover's lane.
Responsible for All These Souls: When teenage vandals break into the abandoned Beardslee mausoleum, cousin Genevieve takes home in a card board box scattered bones and skulls
The Drowned Village: A swimming party ends in tragedy when the lively Karen vanishes beneath a murky lake.
Gracie Was Never a Prostitute: Even though everyone in school says that she is a prostitute, the narrator not only rescues Gracie from local hoods but falls in love with her.
An Appearance of the Blessed Virgin Mary: In the summer of 1969 thousands flocked toWoodstock a hundred miles south but only one draft dodger saw the Virgin Mary.
Burying Uncle Artie becomes a family project when the monsignor refuses to let Artie go to the family plot in old St. Dymphna's Cemetery.
Several of the stories are also available as podcasts on SoundCloud