Wednesday, November 14, 2012

These CCLaP Books Will Change Your Life - solo/down by Lauryn Allison Lewis and Famous Drownings in Literary History by Kevin Haworth.

We are certainly as CCLaP completist as anyone, which is less to speak to some unique position we may hold as readers in the independent lit firmament and more about our desire to look at the themes or tropes that CCLaP is drawn to as it picks the work it wants to share with the world. Over the years CCLaP's has leaned towards journeys and self-discovery, small towns and coping. Themes we love, and are endlessly drawn to as readers and writers, and yes CCLaP authors, ourselves. So, with solo/down by Lauryn Allison Lewis and Famous Drownings in Literary History by Kevin Haworth, we have to ask ourselves whether and how these books might fit into what CCLaP has done so well to build an established identity. In one regard CCLaP has done some things with these books to mine some of the sub-themes they've hit before, science fiction with solo/down and nonfiction with Haworth, and this is important, because to build something is to expand what you do even as you stay true to your vision of yourself. 

That said, something else is going on here as well, and even with solo/down's sci fi bent, and Famous Drownings overt shout-outs to that which it means to be Jewish and the impact of literature on our lives, all of our lives, and how we live, both books speak to a theme CCLaP has only somewhat focused on in the past, parenting, and predominantly, not exclusively, but predominantly, on the fears and panic that grip us as our children grow-up and grow away from us. Whether its the parents in solo/down who have created children they cannot protect, control, or hope to understand, despite their genius for science and grasp of what makes the universe tick, or Famous Drownings, where we are faced with raising, protecting, and controlling children we don't quite understand in a world we don't quite understand, even when we have a culture to draw on, literature, or our ability to save people from drowning. And this of course is parenting, never quite knowing what's right, or how to get from here to there, you hope and you try and you push. Which in this way, parenting is like publishing, certainly small press publishing. Pushing, hoping, building, and regardless of how things are going, panicking, always panicking, even as your changing lives, yours, your readers, and yes, on good days, maybe even those of your children.          

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