Heather Horvat Atwood’s thesis, “Exquisite Animals,” is the story of an aspiring ballerina who lives only to dance, is betrayed by her body, and turns to stripping in her search for salvation. “Exquisite Animals” is about the things we’ll do to keep a dream alive, and the pull of desire, drugs, and human connections. In July 2014, Heather won first place in a six word story contest sponsored by Writing North Idaho. She received her B.A. in English literature from Southern New Hampshire University. Born and raised in central Pennsylvania, she currently lives in Mesa, Arizona.
Diane Les Becquets: Heather’s 4th semester mentor: Exquisite Animals, Heather’s evocative and gripping New Adult novel, follows an obsessive young ballerina on the rise to fame in the Pittsburgh Ballet Company, to her spiral as a strip dancer following an injury, and her subsequent addiction to seduction, alcohol, drugs, and power. But how far can one such spiral take someone, a once beautiful young woman, still young, perhaps still beautiful, but denigrated by the trappings of sex and her lust to be desired? The reader can only hold her breath and hope for the self-redemption that Sarah finally turns to before it is too late. The author’s command is skillful, and the writing artful, lending to a riveting story of destruction and hope and at last liberation.
Ken Butler … a very interesting dude (and possibly one of the funniest men alive) … I’ll never forget his graduation speech (my first semester in the MFA program) … he had the place in stitches. Holy Fool is Ken’s debut novel … Sissy St. Hilaire wakes up in Vermont to learn that her millionaire husband, George, is in a coma after a car accident. George recovers, but he is not the same – he is kinder, smarter, and stunningly serene. George has always been an atheist, a heel, and fervently materialistic; now he is ecstatically spiritual, ignoring money and his business concerns.
When George announces he is abandoning his company and family to become a Catholic priest, Sissy insists that he commit himself for observation. At the mental hospital, Sissy, a serial adulteress, meets young Father O’Toole, a man with a crisis of faith and a roving eye. Sissy realizes she is attracted to O’Toole, who promises to try and help her with her husband’s situation.
Holy Fool is a modern satire that deals with religion, secularism and wealth in contemporary America.
Listen to me, amici, Ken is a phenomenal writer and incredibly interesting guy.
I just bought it and will review in a month or so (my TBR list is now officially overwhelming) … read more about Ken here:
6pm, Walker Auditorium, Robert Frost Hall
Southern New Hampshire University
Richard Adams Carey (Raven’s Children: An Alaskan Culture at Twilight, Against the Tide: The Fate of the New England Fisherman, and The Philosopher Fish: Sturgeon, Caviar, and the Geography of Desire) will be reading from In the Evil Day: Violence Comes to One Small Town, forthcoming in October 2015. It describes a day in August, ‘97, on which four leading citizens of Colebrook, NH were killed by a man with property-rights grievances.
Merle Drown (Plowing Up A Snake and The Suburbs Of Heaven) will be reading from Lighting the World, forthcoming in March 2015. This work explores a tragic 1980s shooting that occurred in a Concord high school shortly before the Challenger explosion that killed Concord teacher Christa McAuliffe. That event overwhelmed the earlier tragedy, which was soon all but forgotten.
Room 514 (Israeli film)
Interesting movie about an Israeli officer about to retire having to investigate the abuse of an Arab family by one of the Israeli Army’s elite squads (another officer) … HIGHLY RECOMMENDED …
Super Bowl Recap … what can I say? The Cheatriots have officially earned yet another asterisk and the NFL cover-up has officially begun. As a friend recently pointed out: How can you not like the TV shot of Paul Allen in a sweatshirt in the box vs. Kraft in his two tone pimp outfit? Wasn’t it interesting how Kraft didn’t have his teenage girlfriend in attendance? Or maybe she was hiding with the ball boy someplace. As one Boston journalist put it (paraphrasing): Pete Carroll finally delivered New England a Super Bowl Champion.
Now, if only it wasn’t as tainted as the other three they have under coach Bill BeliCHEAT.
Go Rex! Go Bills!
Since Cheatriot fans are so determined to live in the past (the Super Bowl was last week, after all) … I thought I’d remind them of how their illustrious team fared when they weren’t cheating: SMILEY FACE.