Thursday, December 15, 2011

Jake Bohstedt Morrill reads from Randy Bradley at Union Avenue Books

Jake Bohstedt Morrill at Union Avenue Books
I'll admit upfront I've got a connection - or several of them - with Jake Morrill, the author of the new novella Randy Bradley published by Solid Objects Press. I first met Jake when he was a young teenager and sported a pretty impressive Mohawk haircut. I've known his mother for over a quarter century and she has been a kind and helpful friend when I've not always been at my best. After the Mohawk era, I didn't see Jake again until a few days back when he read from his new book at Union Avenue Books.

Jake Bohstedt Morrill at Union Avenue Books, Knoxville, December 2011
 
Jake Bohstedt Morrill ponders a response to a question from the audience
 Through the years I caught bits and pieces: Moving to Austin with his band to conquer the music world; Earning a degree from the Iowa Writer's Workshop; Living in South Africa; Writing extremely creative short stories; Harvard Divinity School; and finally, a return to the area to serve as the minister at the Oak Ridge Unitarian Universalist Church. With his return to the area came stories of his kindness.
I didn't realize that the written word had called his name, once more. He, like many authors I've heard before him, said that the voice of his main character emerged and would not be quieted. And it is a powerful voice. Written in the form of a lengthy letter and told entirely in the voice of his main character, the short piece slowly unveils the relationship of two sisters. I'll stop short of giving the plot away by simply saying that the sisters have differing views of reality.

Jake Bohstedt Morrill at Union Avenue Books, Knoxville
 It is an intense, sometimes comical, literary statement for a promising writer who demures when asked about a new project, insisting his family requires his attention. After reading this small jewel, I'm hoping he can find time to share the love with his family and the literary world.

Union Avenue Books still has copies and given its small size and price tag ($14.00), it makes a perfect stocking stuffer or gift for that literary friend who isn't cool enough to have heard about it, yet. Support an excellent young, local writer and the local bookstore that introduces you to him and to other great authors.
Local Book Heroines, Melinda Meador and Flossie McNabb

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