Stories of High Seas Adventure, Racism, Sexism, Homophobia, and Havana Night Life on Eve of Castro Revolution in 1950s Is Finalist for 2011 Next Generation Indie Book Awards
FREDONIA, N.Y., Jan. 17, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — “Once Upon a Decade: Tales of the Fifties,” a collection of Clark Zlotchew’s short stories, was one of three finalists in the 2011 Next Generation Indie Book Awards in the short story category. Almost all the narratives in this collection paint a picture of the 1950s. Many of the elements of this culture will repel: racism, sexism and homophobia, for example. Yet this was an era in which neither the threat of terrorism nor the scourge of AIDS existed for the average American. It was a world in some ways more cruel, more demanding, less forgiving. In other ways it was safer, more comfortable. It certainly was different from the present.
A thumbnail sketch of the variety encountered among these unique narratives can be seen in the following situations:
A man with a tortured psyche keeps a pink teddy bear on his food tray as he watches the Olympics on television.
A waitress in New Jersey puts a curse on a sailor; his behavior becomes increasingly irrational.
Two shipmates learn firsthand about segregation in 1950s Savannah.
A timid adolescent suffers the pangs of unrequited love.
A sailor who wants no more complications in his life falls in love with a young prostitute in Cuba on the eve of the Castro Revolution.
An academic meets Jorge Luis Borges and uncovers the mystery of an American writer with three different names.
The 17 narratives of this collection deal with love and death, triumphs and defeats, adolescent angst and the tension between ethnicity and assimilation against the background of the 1950s. Some present adventure on the high seas as well as a glimpse of Havana night life on the eve of the Castro Revolution.
Excerpt: “The boxers were banging away at each other. Go on, go on, go on, keep punching, Antonio, keep punching. I’m blasting away at the Cuban guy. He can’t hurt me. I’m made of iron. His fists feel like friendly pats when he manages to land a punch, which he doesn’t do too often, ’cause I’m fast on my feet, and I duck and weave. Jack be nimble, Jack be quick. But I’m punching the hell out of him. I’m creaming the bastard, creaming the Cuban, creaming my old man… What…?! Creaming my boss, I mean, that son-of-a-bitch Mr. Hanson. For an instant he saw Janey at the receiving end of his fists…! Again!”
This is Zlotchew’s 17th book, but the third of his fiction. His other two books of fiction are: The Caucasian Menace (2010), an espionage/thriller novel, and TALON Force: Dire Straits (under a pseudonym, 2001), a military/action thriller.
The Next Generation Indie Book Awards program was established to recognize and honor the most exceptional independently published books in 60 different categories. This year’s program is presented by Independent Book Publishing Professionals Group in cooperation with the Allen O’Shea Literary Agency.
Contact: Clark Zlotchew, 716-673-3836 (office), 716-673-1065
SOURCE Clark Zlotchew