Joe Meno Bio
Joe Meno is a fiction writer and playwright who lives in Chicago. A winner of the Nelson Algren Literary Award, a Pushcart Prize, a Great Lakes Book Award, and a finalist for the Story Prize, he is the author of six novels, Office Girl, The Great Perhaps, The Boy Detective Fails, Hairstyles of the Damned, How the Hula Girl Sings, and Tender as Hellfire. His short story collections are Bluebirds Used to Croon in the Choir and Demons in the Spring. His short fiction has been published in the likes of McSweeney’s, One Story, Swink, LIT, TriQuarterly, Other Voices, Gulf Coast, and broadcast on NPR. He was a contributing editor to Punk Planet, the seminal underground arts and politics magazine. His non-fiction has appeared in The New York Times and Chicago Magazine.
Book Description – Marvel and Wonder
Marvel and a Wonder is a darkly mesmerizing epic and literary page-turner set at the end of the twentieth century. In summer 1995, Jim Falls, a Korean War vet, struggles to raise his sixteen-year-old grandson, Quentin, on a farm in southern Indiana. In July, they receive a mysterious gift—a beautiful quarter horse—which upends the balance of their difficult lives. The horse’s appearance catches the attention of a pair of troubled, meth-dealing brothers and, after a violent altercation, the horse is stolen and sold. Grandfather and grandson must travel the landscape of the bleak heartland to reclaim the animal and to confront the ruthless party that has taken possession of it. Along the way, both will be forced to face the misperceptions and tragedies of their past.
Evoking the writing of William Faulkner and Denis Johnson, this brilliant, deeply moving work explores the harrowing, often beautiful marvels of a nation challenged by its own beliefs. Ambitious, expansive, and laden with suspense, Marvel and a Wonder presents an unforgettable pair of protagonists at the beginning of one America and the end of another
Nina Revoyr Bio
Nina Revoyr was born in Japan to a Japanese mother and a white American father, and grew up in Tokyo, Wisconsin, and Los Angeles. She is the author of four novels. Her first book, The Necessary Hunger, was described by Time magazine as “the kind of irresistible read you start on the subway at 6 p.m. on the way home from work and keep plowing through until you’ve turned the last page at 3 a.m. in bed.”
Her second novel, Southland, was a Los Angeles Timesbestseller and “Best Book of 2003,” a Book Sense 76 pick, an Edgar Award finalist, and the winner of the Ferro Grumley Award and the Lambda Literary Award. Publishers Weekly called it “Compelling… never lacking in vivid detail and authentic atmosphere, the novel cements Revoyr’s reputation as one of the freshest young chroniclers of life in L.A.”L.A. Weekly called it “Fascinating and heartbreaking…an essential part of L.A. history,” and the LAist recently named it one of “20 Novels that Dared to Define a Different Los Angeles.”
Nina’s third book, The Age of Dreaming, was a finalist for the 2008 Los Angeles Times Book Prize. Publishers Weekly called it “enormously satisfying;” Library Journal described it as “Fast-moving, riveting, unpredictable and profound,” and Los Angeles Magazine wrote that “Nina Revoyr…is fast becoming one of the city’s finest chroniclers and myth-makers.”
Nina’s fourth novel, Wingshooters, was published in 2011. It was a Booklist Editors Choice for 2011 and anO: Oprah Magazine’s “Book to Watch For,” and has won an Indie Booksellers Choice Award and the Midwest Booksellers Choice Award. Publishers Weekly described it as “remarkable…an accomplished story of family and the dangers of complacency in the face of questionable justice; and Booklist called it “a shattering northern variation on To Kill a Mockingbird.”
Nina’s books are widely taught and have been selected for numerous “Campus Reads” and “Community Reads” programs, as well as for many book clubs. Her fifth novel, Lost Canyon, will be published in August, 2015.
Nina is also co-editor, with poet X.J. Kennedy and poet and former National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Dana Gioia, of the college textbook Literature for Life: A Thematic Introduction to Reading and Writing.
Nina is executive vice president and chief operating officer of a large nonprofit organization serving children affected by violence and poverty in Central and South Los Angeles. She has also been an Associate Faculty member at Antioch University, and a Visiting Professor at Cornell University, Occidental College, and Pitzer College. Nina lives in Northeast Los Angeles with her spouse and their dogs.
Book Description – The Lost Canyon
Four people on a backpacking trip in the Sierra Nevada find more adventure than they ever imagined. They are drawn to the mountains for reasons as diverse as their own lives. Gwen Foster, a counselor for at-risk youth, is struggling with burnout from the demands of her job and with the loss of one of her teens. Real estate agent Oscar Barajas is adjusting to the fall of the housing market and being a single parent. Todd Harris, an attorney, is stuck in a lucrative but unfulfilling career—and in a failing marriage. They are all brought together by their trainer, Tracy Cole, a former athlete with a taste for risky pursuits.
When the hikers start up a pristine mountain trail that hasn’t been traveled in years, all they have to guide them is a hand-drawn map of a remote, mysterious place called Lost Canyon. At first, the route past high alpine lakes and under towering, snowcapped peaks offers all the freedom and exhilaration they’d hoped for. But when they stumble onto someone who doesn’t want to be found, the group finds itself faced with a series of dangerous conflicts, moral dilemmas, confrontations with nature, and an all-out struggle for survival.
Moving effortlessly between city and wilderness, Lost Canyon explores the ways that race, class, and culture shape experience and perception. It examines the choices good people must face in desperate situations. Set in the grand, wild landscape of California’s mountains, Lost Canyon is a story of brewing social tensions and breathtaking adventure that will keep readers on the edge of their seats.