April 20, 2015

Say hello to CCLaP's newest book, Matt Rowan's "Big Venerable!"

Big Venerable, by Matt Rowan

Well, it's the middle Monday of April, which means it's time for another new 2015 CCLaP book! And I'm excited to say that this month's release is the start of an interesting new series for us, three books in a row consisting of story collections by Chicago authors, kicking things off with Matt Rowan's Big Venerable. As always, the book's synopsis can give you a better sense of what it's about than I can off the top of my head here, so let me just paste it in below...

A darkly surreal yet absurdly funny short-fiction writer, Matt Rowan has been a Chicago local secret for years; but now this latest collection of pieces, all of which originally appeared in the pages of the CCLaP Weekender in 2014 and '15, is set to garner him the national recognition his stories deserve, a Millennial George Saunders who is one of the most popular authors in the city's notorious late-night literary performance community. Shocking? Thought-provoking? Strangely humorous? Uncomfortable yet insightful on a regular basis? YES PLEASE.

Yes please indeed! I've been a big fan of Matt's work for a long time now; but like many Chicago authors, Matt has never gotten around to writing the kind of big book-length manuscript like what CCLaP mostly publishes throughout the year, so I'm glad to have our magazine The CCLaP Weekender around as an excuse to publish great short-work authors like Matt and others, and to give them the wider audience they deserve. (And speaking of which, I'm happy to say that the Pushcart-Prize-nominated Weekender is finally starting up active 2015 publication again this week; but come by this Friday for more on that. And also along these lines, I'm happy to say that this is CCLaP's first finished book to be edited by our new short-fiction editor Behn Riahi, who has been editing all the short stories in the Weekender for the last year. Behn was the editor of the next book we have coming out next month as well, and is heading up all four of the Chicago story collections we're publishing in 2016, as well as continuing to serve as the Weekender's story editor throughout this year too.)

Big Venerable, paperback edition

As always with CCLaP's titles, a free ebook version of Big Venerable is available at its main online headquarters, in four different versions (PDFs for American [8.5 x 11] and European [A4] laserprinters; EPUB for most mobile devices; and MOBI specifically for Amazon Kindles); or if you prefer getting to download the book straight to your Kindle wirelessly, or simply wish to financially support Matt and CCLaP more, you can also buy your MOBI for $4.99 at the Kindle Store directly. And of course there's a gorgeous paperback version available as well, in our cute new 4.37 x 7 inch dimensions for our novella-sized manuscripts, which you can also order through Amazon or simply buy directly from us using the "buy now" button below...

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And speaking of the paperback version, we're having the official release party for Big Venerable this Wednesday, April 22nd, at City Lit Books in the Logan Square neighborhood (2523 N. Kedzie, just a stone's throw from the Logan Square blue-line el station). That'll be from 6:30 to 8 pm, and not only can you pick up the paperback at that, there will also be free beer and wine available, so I hope all you Chicagoans will have a chance to come out. And of course don't forget that Big Venerable has its own listing at Goodreads.com as well; so if you're a fellow member of that literary social network like I am, I hope you'll have a chance to add the book to your library there, and especially to post a few thoughts about the book after you're done reading it. Word of mouth is the number-one way a tiny press like ours gains new fans, so your positive mention of the book online can and does have a concrete effect on how many copies we end up selling.

I have to say, I really love Matt's book, a collection of stories that will remind many of the great George Saunders but with a decidedly Millennial bent to the activities in question; and I think it's a perfect complement to the other two Chicago story collections we have coming out soon, Joseph G. Peterson's Twilight of the Idiots in mid-May and then Ben Tanzer's long-awaited The New York Stories: Three Volumes in One Collection in mid-June. (By the way, the three authors will be doing a series of events together all across the city this summer, so make sure to stop by here for the latest.) I hope you'll have a chance to check out all these books as they become available; but for now, definitely stop by the Big Venerable online headquarters as soon as you have a chance, to either download or order a copy of the book and check it out for yourself.

Filed by Jason Pettus at 10:39 AM, April 20, 2015. Filed under: CCLaP Publishing | CCLaP news | Chicago news | Events | Literature | Literature:Fiction | Profiles |