Thomas McNeely with Nan Cuba
Ghost Horse and Body and Bread
Saturday, February 21st
Join us at The Twig Book Shop for an afternoon reading with two critically-acclaimed Texan authors: Thomas McNeely and Nan Cuba! This event is free and open to the public.
A native of Houston, Texas, Thomas H. McNeely's work has appeared in The Atlantic, Ploughshares, The Virginia Quarterly Review, and Epoch, and has been anthologized in The Best American Mystery Stories; What If?: Writing Exercises for Fiction Writers; and Algonquin Books’ Best of the South: From the Second Decade of New Stories from the South. He has received fellowships from the Dobie Paisano Program at the University of Texas at Austin, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Wallace Stegner Program at Stanford University. He currently teaches in the Stanford Online Writers’ Studio and the Emerson College Honors Program. Ghost Horse, his first novel, winner of the Gival Press Novel Award, was published in October 2014.
When his father returns to Houston, eleven-year-old Buddy Turner enters a world of secrets and adult mysteries. Set amidst the social tensions of the 1970’s, Ghost Horse tells the story of Buddy’s shifting alliances within his family, and with two other boys–one white, one Latino–in their quest to make a Super-8 animated movie. As his father’s secrets begin to unravel, Buddy discovers the “real movie”: the intersection between life as he sees it and the truth of his own past. In a vivid story of love, friendship and betrayal, Ghost Horse explores a boy’s swiftly changing awareness of himself and the world, through the lens of imagination.
“An adventure of feeling and intelligence, frightening in its penetration to the depth of a child’s anguish, Ghost Horse is a masterful novel. The reader’s heart opens to McNeely’s characters, and does not ever quite close again. This brave compassion is what fiction is for.”
—James Carroll, author of An American Requiem, winner of the National Book Award
“Ghost Horse is a wrenching, poignant, and beautiful novel. McNeely evokes the searing landscapes of youth and South Texas with nuance and power. This is a story that stays with you like the long days of your last childhood summer, shading everything in your memory.” —Bret Anthony Johnston, author of Remember Me Like This and Corpus Christi: Stories
Nan Cuba received her MFA in fiction from the Warren Wilson Program for Writers, is the founder and executive director emeritus of Gemini Ink, a nonprofit literary center (www.geminiink.org), was twice the runner-up for the Dobie Paisano Fellowship, and received a Fundacion Valparaiso Residency Grant in Mojacar, Spain. She is currently an assistant professor of English at Our Lady of the Lake University. As an investigative journalist, she reported on the causes of extraordinary violence in publications such as "LIFE" and "D Magazine." Her stories, poems, and reviews have appeared in "Quarterly West, Columbia: A Magazine of Poetry & Prose" (runner-up for the journal's fiction award), "Bloomsbury Review,” and "Harvard Review,” among others. She is coeditor of "Art at Our Doorstep: San Antonio Writers & Artists" (Trinity University Press, 2008).
Body and Bread:
Years after her brother Sam's suicide, Sarah Pelton remains unable to fully occupy her world without him in it. Now, while her surviving brothers prepare to sell the family's tenant farm and a young woman's life hangs in the balance, Sarah is forced to confront the life Sam lived and the secrets he left behind. As she assembles the artifacts of her family's history in east Texas in the hope of discovering her own future, images from her work as an anthropologist--images of sacrifice, ritual, and death--haunt her waking dreams.
In this moving debut novel, Nan Cuba unearths the power of family legacies and the indelible imprint of loss on all our lives.
“‘Body and Bread’ is a complex tapestry of lives, present and past, that come together to tell one woman's life. In viewing her life, we are given a bigger story reaching backwards and forward. I learned much about history reading this book. Cuba knows what the wise know; all our lives are interconnected into one common cloth. Here is bread for the spirit written from the heart." --Sandra Cisneros, author of "The House on Mango Street"
"The quintessential Texas novel for the twenty-first century."
--Catherine Kasper, "Texas Books in Review"