Wow, what an insane year it's been for CCLaP's publishing program -- ten new original books in twelve months, even while I was enrolled for half that time in a 14-hour-a-day "computer coding bootcamp." And here finally is our last book of 2015, also easily the biggest book we've ever published, Gint Aras's haunting Chicago immigrant family saga The Fugue. As always, the book's dust-jacket synopsis can sum up the story better than I can, so let me just paste it in below...
After over a decade in prison, a young sculptor, Yuri Dilienko, returns to his old neighborhood in Cicero, Illinois. He finds the town stripped of so many places he used to know, while the town's familiar streets, bricks and steeples trigger memories of his traumatic youth. To convalesce, he sculpts from collected scrap metal, but his arrival in town soon rouses a young girl, Lita Avila, to curiosity. Could this reclusive and oddly quiet man, whose art is sensitive yet intense, truly be guilty of setting fire to his parents' bungalow and burning them alive? At once an homage to the urban grit of Nelson Algren and the family sagas of Leo Tolstoy, The Fugue is a true epic that spans three generations and over fifty years, a major new achievement in the history of Chicago literature. It considers the effects of war and the silent, haunting traumas inherited by children of displaced refugees. Gint Aras's lucid yet lyrical prose braids and weaves a tale where memory and imagination merge, time races and drags, and identity collapses and shifts without warning.
I'm incredibly proud to have this out through CCLaP -- I feel it's the first book we've ever published that has a chance of standing the test of time, a novel that has a shot of still being read and enjoyed even in another century from now -- and I'm sure that those who take the time to read this 516-page epic will excitedly agree with me. As always, the ebook version is available here completely for free, over at the book's main web headquarters; although this is one of those cases when serious readers will almost definitely want to purchase the paperback edition instead, which will be available in just another 24 hours or so over at Amazon for $17.99. And of course the book has its own listing at Goodreads.com as well; if you're a fellow member of that "social network for book nerds" like I am, I strongly encourage you to add The Fugue to your library there, and especially to write a few thoughts about it there after you're doing reading. Word-of-mouth is easily the number-one way a tiny press like ours generates new fans, so your online write-up of this book can and does have a huge influence over the size of its eventual audience.
I'm particularly excited about this book, ever since Gint showed it to me over a year ago; it's had a long and tumultuous history, a manuscript that was almost signed by something like half a dozen other presses before ours, but that kept getting rejected by those presses' marketing departments as "too hard to sell." Those words are music to the ears for a small artistic-oriented press like CCLaP, and I hope you'll have a chance to order or download this unforgettable book soon.