Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Rare Literary Achievement Available Again

Shanti Arts Publishing announces the release of Bob Thurber's debut novel, Paperboy: A Dysfunctional Novel. Paperboy was first published by Casperian Books in 2011 and went out of print a few years later. The book's popularity and superb reviews led to its republication by Shanti Arts Publishing. It is due to be released May 31, 2016.

Paperboy is the story of fourteen-year-old Jack Fisher-malnourished and battered, abandoned by his father, neglected by his mother, manipulated by his older sister, harangued by his boss, and shortchanged by customers. Jack delivers papers in Pawtucket while trying to keep his family from self-destructing completely. It is 1969, and as the whole world holds its breath to see what will become of the Apollo 11 astronauts, Jack clings to his daily mantra, "Things will get better." But things get drastically worse, at space-age speed.

Bob Thurber is an award-winning short story writer whose fiction has appeared in hundreds of publications and dozens of anthologies. Born in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, in 1955, he experienced poverty, a lack of formal education, and a series of dull dreary jobs while working obsessively at writing nearly every day for twenty years before attempting to publish his work. Since then he has produced an enormously successful body of work that has received a nearly endless list of awards and citations. Thurber is also the author of Cinderella She Was Not (2013), Nickel Fictions: Volume One (2013), and Nothing But Trouble (Shanti Arts Publishing, 2014).

Paperboy has received much praise from authors, reviewers, and editors. The literary website Three Guys One Book wrote: "Reading this book, even at its darkest places, you can see Bob Thurber's fingerprints. He's so sharp-especially at short fiction-that he writes short burning chapters from which you can't tear away. He slugs you right in the gut without any maudlin posturing-you'll probably ask for more. Raw and horrific throughout, but genuinely funny in places."

Author Dennis Must said: "Paperboy continues to haunt my consciousness. The narrator's skill and veracity in this pared-down and guileless rendering I consider a rare literary achievement."

Paperboy: A Dysfunctional Novel is a publication of Shanti Arts Publishing in Brunswick, Maine. The book may be purchased through all major online booksellers and may be found in select bookstores. A digital edition is available through most sellers of ebooks.

ISBN: 978-1-941830-34-5 (print, softcover) $17.95 USD
ISBN: 978-1-941830-35-2 (digital) $3.99 USD

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Monday, April 11, 2016

Bob Thurber's Reflection on Writing

Something for our writers . . . 

Remember . . . Keystrokes are hammer taps. Get words on paper. Don’t worry about connections, character or plot. Work for an hour. Promise yourself an hour. Do nothing else but move your fingers. Make coarse shapes. Follow any emotion that pops up but never impose emotion, never fake it, and don’t make up your mind or your heart ahead of time. Understand you don’t know what you’re doing. That’s why you’re here. Rough it out. Anything goes. You can decide later what any piece of text looks like, what it might mean. Don’t stop. Don’t question. Don’t quit. Don’t stop to read what you wrote. Move your fingers. You mind will have no other option but to keep up. Remember that writer’s block is merely the cold marble waiting for the chisel to heat up.

Bob Thurber, author of Paperboy and Nothing But Trouble (Shanti Arts Publishing, 2014) and countless short stories and flash fiction.

Note: Shanti Arts Publishing is republishing Paperboy and it will be released later this spring. When I read Paperboy a few years ago, I was stunned and amazed. It's a book I've never been able to get out of my head. When Bob asked us to republish it, I was elated. I'm delighted to make this book available again.