Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2009

Milkweed Editions Publishes Good Books!

One of the best midwestern publishers out there

By Ken Brosky
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I think the first book I read from Milkweed Editions was Cracking India, a tale about a Pakistani girl growing up during the time when the British left India. In its wake: a mild amount of chaos, to say the least, and the eventual break-off of Pakistan into a Muslim state. It was a great book, and it was one of my first experiences with a book published by a publisher whose home location wasn't New York City.

Milkweed Editions is still going strong, and they have some pretty strong ties to the Midwest, too. I've picked out a couple fiction releases that may be worth checking out:


Montana 1948, by Larry Watson.

 

"From the summer of my twelfth year I carry a series of images more vivid and lasting than any others of my boyhood and indelible beyond all attempts the years make to erase or fade them. . . ." So begins David Hayden's story of what happened in Montana in 1948.

The events of that cataclysmic summer permanently alter twelve-year-old David's understanding of his family: his father, a small-town sheriff; his remarkably strong mother; the Hayden’s Sioux housekeeper, Marie Little Soldier, whose revelations are at the heart of the story; David's uncle, a war hero and respected doctor. As their story unravels around David, he learns that truth is not what you believe it to be. First published in hardcover by Milkweed Editions in 1993, Montana 1948 is now back on Milkweed’s list in a new paperback edition.

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Aquaboogie, by Susan Straight.

Aquaboogie is a series of interrelated tales set mostly in the fictional African-American community of Rio Seco, California (loosely based on Straight’s home in Riverside, California). Full of defiance and tenderness, Aquaboogie chronicles the happiness and tragedies that these characters—like Nacho, the art student/janitor, or the boom-box carrying Shawan—encounter while struggling through life and self-definition.
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The Farther Shore, by Matthew Eck.

In 1993, the battle of Mogadishu was the most intense combat Americans had engaged in since Vietnam. In this adrenaline-filled debut novel, Matthew Eck puts readers inside the mind of a young man caught in the fog of unexpected attack. When a small unit of soldiers from the U.S. Army is separated from their command and left for dead, their only option is to keep moving, in hope that they will escape the marauding gangs and clansmen who appear to rule the city. After a series of horrifying, often violent encounters along the way, only a few of them survive. In this short war novel, the characters, both natives and invaders alike, are haunting—almost inhuman—and the emerging story reflects a new kind of military engagement, with all the attendant horrors and difficulties.

­Cheers,

Ken Brosky

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