Here are some choice photos from my last couple weeks hanging out in Portugal and Spain! The Disquiet International Literary Program is what brought me to Lisbon–and I had a blast with the other participants with all the events and bar nights–but I was also able to fit in a couple side trips too. It’s been pretty great to recharge spiritually before my first novel comes out in a few weeks. (Have I mentioned Kings of Broken Things yet? Order now!) On the spiritual restoration score, mission accomplished! But my body is a little beat up. So much fun though.
Sagrada Família, Barcelona.
Bookmobile parked outside our visit to the US Embassy, Lisbon.
Sardine tapas at Sol e Pesce, Lisbon.
Mural in Bairro Alto, Lisbon.
View from Aljube, Lisbon.
Jamón in Barcelona.
Miradouro breakfast, Lisbon.
Golden Gate Bridge, sort of, Lisbon.
Cais das colunas, Lisbon.
Green sea rocks, Cascais.
Beautiful views in Cascais.
At Sole e Pesce with CCB, Lisbon.
Crazy sea boulders, Cascais.
On the Tagus River with Amina Gautier.
Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcantara, just around the corner from my place in Lisbon.
Church at Miradouro Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen, Lisbon.
2D sculpture, Barcelona.
Praça do Comércio, Lisbon.
Beach drinks, Barcelona.
The rocky outcrop we sunned on at Cascais.
Beach in Cascais.
The summer photo dump spectacular continues! Here are a bunch of photos from the bookstore readings I was a party to this summer while out promoting Bad Faith, my debut collection of short fiction.
On to the photos in a second, but first, thanks to all the booksellers, book buyers, and bookstores along the way for your hospitality and hard work. And a special thanks to Dave Madden, Amina Gautier, and Tyrone Jaeger, my compatriots out on the road. This was such an amazing experience and I couldn’t have found any better people to share it with.
Stained glass beer ad inside Vesuvio’s, San Francisco.
Leg 2 begins at Green Apple Books on the Park in San Francisco.
Group photo from our last night of leg 1, at Beaverdale Books in Des Moines.
Signing books at the Bookworm in Omaha.
A life ambition fulfilled, reading at Prairie Lights in Iowa City.
The front window at Magers & Quinn in Minneapolis
A great crowd at Beaverdale Books in Des Moines.
The marquee at Green Apple Books on the Park in San Francisco.
A dear old friend, Mr. Jake Hoppe Esq.
Ty reading at Boswell Book Co.
Pegasus Books Downtown in Berkeley.
Dave reading at Boswell Book Co.
The flyer Pegasus made up for our reading in downtown Berkeley.
“Yes, I actually do this for a living,” at Pegasus Books Downtown in Berkeley.
My turn to read at Indigo Bridge Books in Lincoln.
Me, Amina, and Dave at Pegasus Books Downtown in Berkeley.
Boswell Book Co. in Milwaukee.
On stage at the incredible Mother Foucault’s antiquarian bookshop in Portland.
Our introduction at the Book Cellar in Chicago.
As the July release date for my story collection, Bad Faith, inches ever closer, we’ve been pulling together some of the promotional materials. Here are the blurbs, if you’re interested. Thanks so much to Jonis, Amina, Brent, and Mark for their generosity in taking the time to plug my book! (And check out below for a teaser of the front cover that I’ve been sending out on postcards.)
“These stories turn the reader’s expectations on their head as Wheeler spins stunning arabesques, scoring the surface of his characters’ reality to reveal the malice, confusion, and ultimate frailty of us all.” – Jonis Agee, author of The Bones of Paradise
“Theodore Wheeler’s debut collection of fiction Bad Faith is a perfect lesson in perfidy, deception, and duplicity, a contemplative exploration of the vagaries of the double-minded human heart.” – Amina Gautier, author of The Loss of All Lost Things
“Wheeler’s characters occupy the edges of their lives, the gray places of the heart. They yearn for inclusion at the same time that they feel pulled into isolation. At the heart of this brilliant book is the desire to connect—with others, with the world around us, and with the lost parts of ourselves. Filled with powerful insights and a nuanced understanding of human nature, Bad Faith is a major achievement, and Theodore Wheeler is a writer to be reckoned with.” – Brent Spencer, author of Rattlesnake Daddy: A Son’s Search for His Father
“Superbly chiseled prose conveying extraordinarily hardscrabble lives, Bad Faith explores dark alleys within the epiphany that some of us are more fated to hell than heaven on earth. Theodore Wheeler is the real deal and then some.” – Mark Wisniewski, author of Watch Me Go
I’m happy to share that today is release day for Amina Gautier’s newest collection of short fiction, Now We Will Be Happy, which won the Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Fiction and is being published by the University of Nebraska Press.
Amina and I met this January at the Key West Literary Seminar, where we were in the same workshop. She’s a fantastic writer, a fellow Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts alum, and I’m excited that we get another of her books. Her first collection, At Risk, won the Flannery O’Connor Book Prize and came out in 2012. At Risk was one of the first books that was reviewed on Briefly Noted when I co-edited the feature with Claire Harlan-Orsi for Prairie Schooner‘s blog.
Here’s the jacket copy of her latest:
Now We Will Be Happy is a prize-winning collection of stories about Afro-Puerto Ricans, U.S.-mainland-born Puerto Ricans, and displaced native Puerto Ricans who are living between spaces while attempting to navigate the unique culture that defines Puerto Rican identity. Amina Gautier’s characters deal with the difficulties of bicultural identities in a world that wants them to choose only one.
The characters in Now We Will Be Happy are as unpredictable as they are human. A teenage boy leaves home in search of the mother he hasn’t seen since childhood; a granddaughter is sent across the ocean to broker peace between her relatives; a widow seeks to die by hurricane; a married woman takes a bathtub voyage with her lover; a proprietress who is the glue that binds her neighborhood cannot hold on to her own son; a displaced wife develops a strange addiction to candles.
Crossing boundaries of comfort, culture, language, race, and tradition in unexpected ways, these characters struggle valiantly and doggedly to reconcile their fantasies of happiness with the realities of their existence.
Way to go, Amina! Congrats!