This Other Eden

This Other Eden

5.0 1
by Michael Hemmingson
     
 

Terrorism, crack cocaine and rape. Failure, miscarriages and suicide. Divorce, incest and misery. This Other Eden is Michael Hemmingson at his most brutal. A man wins the lottery and loses his family. A book agent must deal with a wild girl writer, a white trash genius and a limousine full of angry teenagers. His protagonists scratch at the bottom of society desperate…  See more details below

Overview

Terrorism, crack cocaine and rape. Failure, miscarriages and suicide. Divorce, incest and misery. This Other Eden is Michael Hemmingson at his most brutal. A man wins the lottery and loses his family. A book agent must deal with a wild girl writer, a white trash genius and a limousine full of angry teenagers. His protagonists scratch at the bottom of society desperate to maintain delusions of adequacy. They fall into each other with hatred and bile; emerging with their own unique form of heroism.

Provocative and intriguing, THIS OTHER EDEN by Michael Hemmingson is akin to reading a cross between someone's private journal and a True Crime magazine. Feeling titillated and naughty, as if reading a sibling's most private and dirty secrets, I found myself wholly unwilling to put this book down. It is glorious train wreck of loss, betrayal, and crime mixed with intimate thoughts and a poignant sense of loneliness. THIS OTHER EDEN is the kind of book that will make you forget your own life for a while but will also allow you to be grateful for it when you put the book down. ~ Jennifer Brozek, Submissions Editor, Apex Book Company

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Editorial Reviews

Craig Clark
The centerpiece, at over a third of the book's length, is "Now That I Know What Happened, Could You Hold Me, Please, and Say This Is Love?" (recently expanded into the novel Shabby Town). It is the story of some time in the life of Paul Augustine, where he begins with thievery and ends with personal fulfillment. Yet nothing that happens inbetween feels forced or contrived purely to suit Hemmingson's purposes. It's a completely absorbing experience.
Marilyn Jaye Lewis
This Other Eden is a collection of 3 short stories and 3 novellas that are somewhat interconnected in that all the characters within are not so much down on their luck as much as ignorant of what up might mean, or that there even is an up. As is typical of most of Hemmingson’s fiction, foreboding is everywhere. He is a master at creating a plodding sense of doom -- an inexorable descent into the wasteland of wretchedness.
Romie Stott
I won't go so far as to say that Hemmingson transcends or embodies his genre, but he offers a satisfying take on it. His protagonists are neither he-men nor whiners, and his women are, well, women - smart and motivated and rounded out. You know - human beings. He never guts stuck in props or prostelityzing - no trench coats and no impassioned speeches about how awful poverty is. The characters get it done and live their lives; they don't try to make a big thing about it.
Grady Harp
The author drags us through the muddy existence of drugs, rape, suicide, the lottery - think of a topic that could raise hairs on your neck and Hemmingson goes there. And he does it so well that he glues us to the page like voyeurs peeking at things we know we should not be quietly and privately enjoying. That is talent, and Hemmingson has it - an evocative wordsmith that makes the reader want to go bathe.
Patricia Esposito
It's partly through authentic, energetic, idiosyncratic dialogue that Hemmingson creates the force of people that work for and against the characters. Alonzo, an editor Ivy meets, takes her out one night and, humorously, in third person, provides a long monologue of his life: "But Alonzo had dreams, yes he did, and although, like yourself, he met many closed doors when trying to find a job in publishing, he was determined as holy hell. So what did he do? What did I do? ..."

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780976654667
Publisher:
Dybbuk Press
Publication date:
05/04/2010
Pages:
216
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.46(d)

Meet the Author

Michael Hemmingson has been writing for 20 years. He is a novelist, short story writer, literary critic, cultural anthropologist, qualitative researcher, playwright and screenwriter. As an independent seeker, Hemmingson has written the meditation, Gordon Lish and His Influence on Twentieth Century Literature, a short TV studies monograph on Star Trek and an ethnographic research project, Zona Norte where he went to Tijuana and interviewed the sex workers. He was on the staff of the San Diego Reader from 2004 until 2009. This book was later transformed into a documentary that was screened at Cannes.

His feature film, The Watermelon, was directed by Brad Mays and produced by Lorenda Starfelt at LightSong Films. Hemmingson won the San Diego Book Awards Association's first Novel-in-Progress grant for The Rose of Heaven and SDBAA's Best Published novel for his book Wild Turkey. He was selected as the toastmaster for the Death Equinox convention.

From 1995-2000, he was Literary Manager of The Fritz Theater in San Diego where he directed, produced and wrote many plays. His full-length play, Driving Somewhere won the 1997 Ventana New Play Award in San Francisco. His one-act play, Iraq was produced in 2000 and his one-act, Milk, has appeared several anthologies.

His research has included books concerning the writings of Raymond Carver, Gordon Lish and William T. Vollmann. He has written multiple auto-ethnography articles for Denzin Qualitative Research.

Larry McCaffery has called him "Raymond Carver on acid." The American Book Review has called him a disciple of a quick and dirty literature.

He has written several books about spanking.

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