The Chicago Center for Literature and Photography is proud to present its first-ever premier publishing event, exquisitely done high-priced handmade books created specifically for professional collectors and hardcore fans. In this case, it's a compendium of two smaller ebook story collections by Ben Tanzer, Repetition Patterns from 2008 and So Different Now from 2011, entitled The New York Stories since all the pieces are set in the same small upstate New York town, similar to the one where Tanzer actually grew up. The book features a full Colophon, signature/provenance page, and 30 illustrations by Chicago artist Laura Szumowski (six in full color and inserted via special vellum sheets), the whole thing held together with faux-suede covers and external Coptic stitching. A must-have for serious book collectors and diehard Tanzer and Szumowski fans, The New York Stories is very likely to go up in value as the years progress, so make sure to order your own copy right away.
"Some of these stories might seem inconsequential. They're about tiny happenings or changes. People long for something, they grow up or move away. But the detail is beguiling, and often something dark or unusual is happening behind closed doors--the older sister who plays breathing games with the baby, the father who insists on giving visiting children a goodnight kiss, or the husband who sleeps with all of his neighbors' wives." --The Short Review
"Well written and easy to read...a bit of a page-turner for me." --Words, Notes, and Fiction
"[A]midst all the fantasies of what could have been, or what should have been, the characters in these stories are left only with the realization that the present is reality. And it is in this realization--and the different way each character reacts to it--that these stories find their meaning, transcending off the page and touching your heart in a way made possible only by Tanzer's conversational and evocative style." --Curbside Splendor
"The characters are pretty powerful simply because they are believable....Tanzer just gives us what life has thrown at each character." --The Local Tourist
"Not expected. I've read Ben Tanzer before. I thought it was good, but it didn't 'wow' me. That's the thing with literary fiction. It's about nothing in particular.... So literary writers have to work extra hard and dig deeper into the human heart to offer their readers satisfaction.... SO DIFFERENT NOW left its imprint on me. Because that's what powerful stories do. They scar you and chip away at you, make you a different person." --Dead End Follies
"I am drawn to Tanzer's writing for the same reasons I enjoy getting a beer with him: there is a charm, in both his manner and his writing, which is simply entertaining, yet hints at a much more complex, sometimes dark, psychological underpinning. While reading this collection I continuously found myself lulled into the natural cadence of his writing, only to come to the end where I would find myself helplessly sitting in a pot of boiling water, unable to jump out." --Author Jason Fisk
"I've reviewed Ben's work over at my own blog before, and I remember saying that Ben makes writing, specifically the process of building a character arc, look way easier than it really is. His new collection of short stories shows that his already-impressive gifts for astute narrative observation have sharpened. It's infuriating. And you can't even hate him for it because he's so damn nice and helpful." --The Lit Pub
"[I]t'll knock you on your ass. Every story is poignant and ridiculously well written. Like Ray Carver, Tanzer knows how to show little pieces of our life that make us who we are and crush our expectations.... I'm hooked on this guy." --Mourning Goats
"Every story left me feeling intense emotions about the protagonist or his situation, weather it was victory, defeat, or a just plain, that totally sucks, and that's what Tanzer does. He can evoke an intense reaction in his reader in a mere flash fiction piece. All the characters yanked at my heart strings in one form or another, I felt sympathy for them no matter how confused or fallen they were." --Small Press Reviews
"[A] fantastic collaboration between two of Chicago's best people....kick assedly illustrated." --Untoward magazine
The electronic version of this book is being offered for free download to increase readership, although you're encouraged to make a voluntary payment through Paypal. (Because of the many illustrations found within, this ebook is only offered as a PDF, not in EPUB or Kindle forms.) To start the process, choose one of the options below:
Make a voluntary payment then download the ebook
Order the paper copy:
In June and July of 2012, Ben and Laura both embarked on virtual tours for The New York Stories, including a few dates they did together. Click below to check out archived versions of all the tour stops:
6/15: Mourning Goats (Ben) | 6/18: Caleb J. Ross (Ben) | 6/19: Ryan Bradley (Ben) | 6/20: Pete Anderson (Ben) | 6/21: Baby Got Books (Ben) | 6/25: Mel Bosworth (Ben) | 6/26: Patricia Ann McNair (Ben) | 6/27: Curbside Splendor (Ben) | 6/28: Cort Bledsoe (Ben) | 6/29: Another Chicago Magazine (Ben and Laura) | 7/2: The Next Best Book Blog (Ben and Laura) | 7/3: Dead End Follies (Ben), Baby Got Books (Laura) | 7/4: WordPlaySound (Ben), Caleb J. Ross (Laura) | 7/5: Artifice Magazine (Ben and Laura) | 7/6: Mark R. Brand (Laura) | 7/9: Untoward Magazine (Laura) | 7/11: Big Other (Laura) | 7/12: David David Katzman (Laura)
This book has been released under a Creative Commons license (click the above icon to actually read it in full); this gives you permission to make unlimited copies for yourself, convert it into other formats, translate it into other languages, and use it as a basis for nonprofit multimedia projects (audio, film, animation, stage performance, calligraphy, etc), in return for you not changing the contents or removing the credits.
CCLaP is always on the lookout for great unsigned manuscripts. Click here for more on how to submit your own.