A Simplified Map of the Real World–the book I have been editing, laying out, proofing, sending out for reviews, cradling in my arms, for the past nine months–is now available! You can find it as a paperback and ebook on Amazon. It’s also available at independent bookstores around the country–if you don’t see it at your favorite bookstore, please ask! They’ll order it and possibly decide to carry it if you ask, and that would be the best way to spread the word about Forest Avenue Press. If you do that, please contact me, and I’ll find a suitable way to thank you.
Moreover if you have an Espresso Book Machine at a bookstore, library, or university near you, you can get it printed while you wait while supporting a community institution. See the list of locations here.
Our launch reading–party!–is slated for 7:30 p.m. tonight (Thursday, Sept. 12) at Powell’s City of Books on Burnside. We expect an overflow crowd, and there might be a surprise or two to honor Stevan’s debut and the launch of Forest Avenue Press’ fiction catalog. The Powell’s Espresso Book Machine staff will be standing by in the Purple Room to print books before and after the reading, since we think we’ll run out of stock upstairs in the Pearl Room. Talk about an ultra local book. Published by a Portland publishing house, written by an Oregon author, printed in-store at Powell’s. Of course there are signed copies available through Powell’s if you order soon so we can have Stevan sign them tonight!
For more about the book, and which of his characters Stevan would want to sit down and have a drink with, see this interview in NW Book Lovers by Robin Cody, author of Ricochet River.
“A Simplified Map of the Real World is a near-flawless first book that delights with its colorful portrayals of loggers, farmers, families, and even the occasional stripper—the salt-of-the-Earth folks who inhabit the small, rural town of Renata, Oregon. Beautifully crafted and marked by incisive wit, Allred’s fifteen interlinked short stories reveal the rich, dark tangle of events and emotions that lie beneath everyday happenings in small-town America, unearthing the sibling rivalries simmering beneath the surface of apparent conviviality, the devastation of divorce, the deadening sadness that follows, and the way innocent young people awaken into first love.” – Kristine Morris, ForeWord Reviews
“I don’t know how he works his magic–probably naked at the typewriter or some other trick to get so much humanity and humility on the page–but Stevan has built a world full of beautiful and messy people living beautiful and messy lives. These stories are great on their own, and even stronger together. You’ll feel like you know these people and this place better than you know your own people and place. You should be ashamed of yourself for not having read this book yet!” – Yuvi Zalkow, author of A Brilliant Novel in the Works
“Stevan Allred’s characters are delightfully wrong-headed. They make questionable choices—sometimes terrible ones—and get themselves into all kinds of trouble. But the worse their mistakes, the more I care for them, because beyond their difficulties what Allred gives them is the essential dignity of longing. No matter how misguided, all strive toward some ideal, and no matter what mess they make of their circumstances, they end up more alive for having given themselves over to desire. To read their stories is to journey through passions that transcend the confinements of small town life—and it’s a journey that’s by turns funny, surprising, and heartbreaking.” – Scott Nadelson, author of The Next Scott Nadelson
“Readers are treated to revenge-seekers, thrill-seekers, and attention-seekers. There are secrets: the small town, gossip-worthy kind and the kind that can eat a person alive from the inside, along with the judgement that inevitably and permanently attaches itself to hidden truth. Each piece is an artfully crafted tale of human nature.” – Edee Lemonier, The Reading and Writing Cafe