In the next installment of the All But True series, on Wednesday, March 6, 2019, two grown-up authors depict the lives of protagonists who struggle to reach emotional maturity even long after they can buy a legal drink.
In NONE OF THE ABOVE, author Michael Cocchiarale gives us 27 years in the life of an earnest Midwesterner, Increase “Ink” Alt, from childhood into his thirties. Like so many of us, Ink has trouble figuring out where he fits in the world. He constantly struggles to keep up with more sophisticated peers, and yet the reader sees that most of them aren’t good role models for him. Even when Ink returns to his hometown as a highly educated adult, he still has much to learn about himself. Trials and traumas put his maturity to the test in ways he never expected.
In THE MINORS by Chris Ludovici, both protagonists have to work on their maturity. One is Samantha “Sam” Heller, a teenager whose father has left to start a new job. Supposedly the family will join him soon, but the situation gets complicated, in part because of Nick Rogers, a 28-year-old contractor hired to fix up the house before it’s put on the market. Nick, a failed minor-league baseball player and habitual screw-up, gets drawn into being a confidant to the mother and a substitute dad for Sam and her younger brother—challenging roles for which he’s not at all prepared. In this novel all the characters need to grow up, and the author describes their difficult paths—full of betrayals, angst, and a few bloody knuckles—with both insight and compassion.
By coincidence, both of these books are published by Unsolicited Press in Portland, Oregon. You may want to check out their website.
The program starts at 6:30 p.m. at Penn Book Center, 34th & Sansom Streets in West Philly, adjacent to the University of Pennsylvania. As always, the event includes author readings, discussion, book signings, and free refreshments.
If we aren’t mature after this event, we will go home and listen to NPR.