A Simplified Map of the Real World by Stevan Allred will be published by Forest Avenue Press in September 2013.
Fifteen linked stories, in the tradition of Olive Kitteridge, investigate the lives of neighbors, brothers, ex-wives, errant sons, former classmates, and the occasional stripper, revealing the complex connections and miscommunications that intensify small-town life.
“Stevan’s work is electrifying,” said Laura Stanfill, Forest Avenue Press’ publisher. “Like Uncle Lenny’s bumper cars in the title story, his characters crash into each other in unexpected and satisfying ways in the rural town of Renata, Oregon.”
A Simplified Map of the Real World will be released on Thursday, September 12, with a 7:30 p.m. reading at Powell’s City of Books in downtown Portland.
Allred is the co-teacher of The Pinewood Table critique group in Portland, where he has mentored many writers, including novelists Scott Sparling and Yuvi Zalkow. He has been widely published in literary journals, and he has been nominated twice for the Pushcart Prize. Allred began working on A Simplified Map of the Real World nearly a decade ago.
“I knew early on that this was going to be a suite of linked stories,” Allred said. “Each story had to stand on its own, but I also had the joyful task of connecting them to one another, with setting and characters, with themes and objects. There’s a lot of divorce and heartbreak, but there’s also humor, and a fair amount about pickles. I loved diving into characters who had minor roles in a previous story, and then giving them a story of their own.”
Forest Avenue Press was founded in 2012 to publish and promote Oregon writers. Its first release, the anthology Brave on the Page: Oregon Writers on Craft and the Creative Life, was named a Powell’s Staff Top Five pick, earned the Book of the Year Award from the Powell’s On Oregon Blog, and spent four months on the Powell’s Small Press Bestseller List.
A Simplified Map of the Real World will be available in mid-September through Powell’s and other independent bookstores as well as Amazon and the international Espresso Book Machine network. For more information, see forestavenuepress.com, or email Stanfill at submissions at laurastanfill dot com.