Monday 28 September 2020

Launch and Play: Grant Tracey and Jim O'Loughlin debut new books, jam together at September FTRS


If you weren't able to come out for the September Final Thursday Reading Series, you can now stream the entire event. Grant Tracey launched Winsome / Bend of the Sun, his new crime fiction chapbook, and Jim O'Loughlin premiered The Last Caucus in Iowa, his new book on the 2020 Iowa Caucus. Between readings, they also played two of Grant Tracey's original songs.

We're still waiting to see what the weather brings for October, but we are still hoping to be in the Hearst Center's sculpture garden on the last Thursday of the month.

Tuesday 22 September 2020

Winsome / Bend of the Sun

New Crime Fiction from Grant Tracey
Winsome / Bend of the Sun released as double cover edition

"A punch appeared through withered lines of snow. He wasn't sure, but it sure looked like a beating in back of the Trent Inn."

Winsome follows Eddie Sands, a Korean War vet turned taxi driver, whose efforts to protect people near him quickly entwines him in a tale of jealousy, corruption and redemption. In the second story in the collection, Bend of the Sun, two hit men, Wingels and Donnie, find a straightforward hit complicated when the intended target has enemies they don’t know about. Both stories feature Grant Tracey’s trademark hardboiled prose and offer a distinctly contemporary twist on a traditional genre of writing.

Tracey will read from the collection at an outdoor, socially distanced reading at the Hearst Center for the Arts sculpture garden as part of the Final Thursday Reading Series on September 24 at 6 p.m. He will also be part of a future Zoom event, sponsored by the North American Review, where he will read from the collection and be interviewed by Final Thursday Press publisher Jim O’Loughlin. 

Grant Tracey is the author of the Hayden Fuller Mystery Series from Twelve Winters Press. That series includes the novels Cheap Amusements, A Fourth Face, the memoir Toronto, 1965, and the forthcoming novel, Neon Kiss. A professor of English at the University of Northern Iowa, he also regularly appears in regional theatre, including in the roles of Pastor Paul in The Christians, Oscar Madison in The Odd Couple, Yvan in Art, and Peter in Zoo Story. 

Final Thursday Press is an award-winning literary press that focuses on chapbooks by Cedar Valley writers. Recent collections include: Planting Red Geraniums: Discovered Poems by James Hearst, The Coolest Month by Vince Gotera, and Honey & Blood, Blood & Honey by Rachel Morgan.

Winsome/Bend of the Sun can be purchased locally at the UNI Bookstore and online at Signed copies are available directly from Final Thursday Press for $7.95.

Click below to watch a trailer of Winsome/Bend of the Sun.

Thursday 3 September 2020

Adrianne Finlay Book Launch

The 20th season of the Final Thursday Reading Series took the whole show outside to the Hearst Center's outdoor sculpture garden. It was a hot August night, and wehad a dedicated (and socially distanced) crowd on hand for the launch of Adrianne Finlay's new novel Cut Off. Cut Off (HMH Books) has been described as “Warcross meets Lost.” It’s a young adult sci-fi thriller in which teens compete to survive in the wilderness for one million dollars on a new virtual reality show. When something goes horribly wrong and the contestants realize no one is coming to save them, they must question their very reality—and how much of the game is really for show. School Library Journal describes Cut Off as “A genre-bending story that engages with themes of anxiety and trauma in imaginative ways.” Finlay is also the author of the novel Your One and Only. In the reading that you can stream below, Finlay reads two chapters from the novel and takes questions from the audience. Locally, copies of Cut Off can be ordered from the UNI Bookstore