The Names of Things is a beautifully written book permeated with a sense of sadness and regret, set against the backdrop of the desolate Kenyan landscape. There are two main reasons why I find myself recommending this novel. First, the author’s ability to vividly describe a setting is among the finest I’ve encountered. Second, while Wood maintains in his afterword that The Names of Things is fictional, the story feels intensely real and personal. (Reviewed by Kim Kovacs).
Category: News from Ashland Creek Press
Most Americans are probably unaware of Kobo.
But Canadians are well aware of this device, which is the leading eReader in the country.
And Kobo is expanding into Japan and other parts of Asia.
So we’re happy to now feature many of our books on the Kobo.
We’re just getting started. Here are the books currently available:
- Everyday Writing: Tips and prompts to fit your regularly scheduled life
- Out of Breath: A Novel
- The Names of Things: A Novel
- Falling Into Green: An Eco-Mystery
- The Tourist Trail: A Novel
- Forgetting English: Stories
Having just returned from the Port Townsend Writers’ Conference, I’m newly inspired not only in terms of my own writing but by the magnificence of the natural world and the ways in which we can appreciate and nurture it. Spending the week on the water, with deer roaming past our cabins every day, I found it impossible not to think about nature and animals.
Early in the week, poet Ashley Capps gave a wonderful craft lecture on empathy. Among other works, she read Elizabeth Bishop’s “The Fish” and offered a juxtapoesis — a slide show of images that resemble each other, from a magnified sweat gland that evoked a head of lettuce to the face of a terrified girl next to a calf in a kill chute. Ashley made important connections that highlight the necessity to see ourselves in others and to be empathetic in our lives and in our writing.
I especially enjoyed Ashley’s reading a few nights later, during which she read not only her beautiful poems but an essay she’d recently published with Our Hen House, as a response to OHH’s New York Times call for essays on “why it’s ethical to eat meat.” As Ashley writes in her essay, “In any discussion concerning the ethics of eating animals, it feels important to begin by pointing out a frequently overlooked distinction: that harming and killing animals from necessity is not morally equivalent to harming and killing animals for pleasure…It’s important to realize that, with a few exceptions, when humans kill other animals for food, we’re not doing what animals do in nature. When animals kill other animals for food, they do as they must, in order to survive; they have no choice in the matter. Many humans, on the other hand, do have a choice…”
Most compelling and true was Ashley’s conclusion: “Finally, to harm animals for pleasure is also, ultimately, to harm ourselves. Constantly acting in opposition to our own core values deforms our hearts — and it diminishes our integrity, and hinders our emotional and moral growth….What can it mean for caring people to regularly reject compassionate choices that cost them next to nothing, and to instead embrace unnecessary violence that costs its victims, literally, everything?”
I was just doing a little inventory here at Ashland Creek Press HQ and thought I’d add a blog post about what’s new here at the press.
They’ve also been excited about the book buzz for the two novels published this spring and all the great reviews. Here are a few excerpts:
THE NAMES OF THINGS:
“Wood weaves a wonderful tale here…In the end, satisfactorily Wood presents more questions than answers. He presents more in the journey, as only this particular narrator can perform it, than in any particular factual accuracy or resolution. The result is beautiful and haunting. I highly recommend reading this book.” —David S. Atkinson, The Lit Pub
FALLING INTO GREEN:
“Appealing…the aptly named Dr. Green and her friends are fresh enough to recycle.” —Publishers Weekly
“Fischer’s debut mystery introduces a fascinating topic—ecopsychology…” —Library Journal
“[Falling Into Green] is an eco-mystery set at a fast pace, punched through with staccato sentences, twisting plot, shifting landscape, and a mighty heroine for the 21st century.” —Huffington Post Books
And they’re also getting ready for three new books coming out this fall and winter…
And, finally, stay tuned for THE GHOST RUNNER, the second book in the Lithia Trilogy, whose first book, Out of Breath, “blends genre tradition with West Coast environmentalism … the result feels fresh and original” (Kirkus Reviews). Booklist writes: “Combining mystery, romance, vampires, and strong vegan and environmental messages, [Out of Breath] will have readers of light paranormal novels running to the next book in Richmond’s trilogy.”
And that’s it from the General Manager’s office…at least for now. I’ll be back with periodic updates.
Yesterday was the first annual (yes, there are plans for next year!) Ashland Book and Author Festival, sponsored by Southern Oregon University’s Friends of Hannon Library and SMART. We were happy to be there as both authors and publishers, and especially to meet so many other readers, writers, and publishers.
The festival took place on three floors of SOU’s Hannon Library, with author readings and presentations in alcoves on each floor every fifteen minutes. I had the opportunity to chat about Everyday Writing and to read from Forgetting English, as well as to drop in to hear other presentations. The fifteen-minute format was short but very sweet — and it was great so have so much going on: fiction on one floor, nonfiction on another, and poetry on yet another.
We enjoyed chatting with our festival neighbors at Krill Press and Wellstone Press, and I also participated in a publisher’s panel, along with Molly Tinsley of Fuze Publishing, Tod Davies of Exterminating Angel Press, and Stephen Sendar of White Cloud Press. It was great to hear about the marvelous things these amazing indie presses are up to, as well as talk with participants about everything from queries to distribution to the future of publishing (which, we all agreed, is anyone’s guess at this point!).
It was exciting to hear our own Cher Fischer read and talk about her eco-mystery Falling Into Green at the Writing Killer Fiction panel later that afternoon, led by Tim Wohlforth and including crime writers Michael Niemann, Clive Rosengren, and Bobby Arellano.
And, of course, we loved celebrating Typewriter Day with other fans of the written word…
Already looking forward to next year!