NewsNote | Ramola D | August 22, 2021
Delighted to announce the launch of my new book of short fiction, For the Sake of the Boy, to be released by Paycock Press September 1, 2021–please visit the Paycock Press website for a pre-look and pre-order–thanks to the focused literary endeavor of publisher, editor, poet, fiction-writer Richard Peabody and his publishing team, to whom my eternal gratitude for his dedication to publishing literary fiction as an independent small press in Washington DC with a large and lasting reach.
From their website: “Paycock Press was founded in 1976 to publish Gargoyle magazine, a DC-based international literary magazine. Named for Sean O’Casey’s play Juno and the Paycock, the press went into hibernation in 1990. When the magazine was revived in 1997, we began talking about starting to publish books once again.”
On Gargoyle: “Gargoyle magazine was founded in 1976 by Russell Cox, Richard Peabody, and Paul Pasquarella. By 1977, Peabody was the only member of the original triumvirate left. He ran the mag until 1990 with several co-editors through the years, most notably Gretchen Johnsen (1979-1986) and Peggy Pfeiffer (1988-1990). Based in the Washington, D.C., metro area, Gargoyle was dedicated to printing work by unknown poets and fiction writers, as well as seeking out the overlooked or neglected. The magazine archive is housed in the Special Collections at George Washington University’s Gelman Library in DC (some back issues are still available to the public as well—read on). The mag was on something of an extended hiatus as of 1990 and resurfaced in 1997.”
I have had the privilege of having my work appear in Gargoyle, as well as in Richard Peabody’s enduring Grace and Gravity series of anthologies of women fiction writers from the Washington DC area, in the anthology Enhanced Gravity: More Fiction by Washington Area Women (Paycock Press, 2006).
There is no-one who is more well-known in the DC area–in literary circles–than Richard Peabody, whose rootedness in literary publishing, pursuing the contemporary, the new, the avant-garde, yet within and rising from the traditional confines of the “canon” as we know it of literature is legendary.
A Richard Peabody Reader was recently released and Richard’s commitment to supporting Washington DC’s writers was written-up by the Washington Post as being “at the epicenter of the underground Washington literary scene” (which is hardly underground).
Those of us who have lived, worked, taught, and written in the Washington DC area for years know him as a leading literary light, along with Kim Roberts, publisher of the Beltway Poetry Quarterly and several anthologies herself, whom I was privileged to interview for my online literary journalistic venture, Delphi Quarterly (currently still on hiatus as I work more in science/tech journalism lately here at ECC and Ramola D Reports).
FOR THE SAKE OF THE BOY & OTHER STORIES
For the Sake of the Boy is a collection of short stories situated in and around the Washington DC area, where I taught at various Universities–George Washington University, American University, Montgomery College, The Writer’s Center, Bethesda–and worked also in various corporate settings between 1992 and 2011, after I graduated with an MFA in Creative Writing (major Poetry, minor Fiction) from George Mason University in 1991.
The stories touch on the lives of Indian-American women–women like me who have crossed continents, oceans, and cultures to arrive in America, living at the crossroads between East and West, India and America, if only in our minds and souls, traversing the various scapes of work lives, home lives, art lives, teaching lives, marriage, wifehood, motherhood, daughterhood, friendships, traveling back and forth to India, family lives in India, memories and imaginings, real life and dream.
The stories are not mine and mine, like all fiction they rise from subtext and unfoldment of experience into the lives of characters known, met, imagined. There are women and men I have met and known I have written about, whose lives and attitudes often posed unanswerable questions, spaces which could be bridged, for me, in fiction alone. The stories are set in the DC area, in Arlington and Fairfax, Virginia, in Washington DC, and travel back to India, where a few are situated.
The publication of this book was delayed for various reasons both at the publisher’s end and mine, some which followers of my journalism can imagine I am sure–I make no secret of the fact that for eight years now the larger fascist state and the local Masonic minions beholden to fusion centers, mercenary predation, deceit, and COINTELPRO perfidy have been emasculating my life and work, as also many thousands of others worldwide. Compelled to research this extraordinary phenomenon, I have been deep in covering issues of personal and national and world significance, which I will indeed write more at length about. Fiction and poetry have been on the backshelf for several years now. But never forgotten–and I will return to this space again.
I have meant to make this note here announcing my book for a while now — given what is going on in the world right now, which I am striving closely to cover, in certain specific areas, it seems to me this book is being released within a fog of fascist war on humanity, not what I had ever dreamed of or imagined, writing these stories while teaching Kate Chopin and Emily Dickinson, James Joyce and Virginia Woolf, Rilke and Whitman, Sandra Cisneros and Sherman Alexie in the late ’90s and ‘2000s, not what many may think is the right sort of book to launch at a time like this. Like all art it is a speaking inside reverie and rumination, like all fiction it is entrance to other worlds. The timing of this release I hope, ultimately, will still inspire, entertain, solace and uplift all readers of these stories.
Special thanks to Richard Peabody, and to my dear friend Liz Poliner, poet and novelist, sister-teacher at American and writer who was my first reader on many of these stories, whose insights and careful attention to detail this book was greatly ensouled by. Many thanks also to thoughtful editor Jody Brady and all the writers and reviewers who left lovely words now on the cover.
I have to check with Richard about e-book and audio-book versions of the book but will make a brief video snippet soon with reading excerpts from a few of the stories.
Meanwhile, please do visit Paycock Press and order online–enjoy the book!
Visit my author website for information on my other books, to be updated soon.