Marly: [A novella in one voice]
November 6, 2015
Dede Cummings the savvy publisher at GreenWritersPress in Vermont whispers to this blog a few items about one on her new author's novels:
SYNOPSISICLE: So, this dude comes up from the city to take an eco-writing workshop at a little college in way-northern Vermont, where I happen to teach watershed analysis, wildlife habitat, advanced chain saw, and self-defense for women. He’s not my type – actually, no man has been my type for a while now, but I bumped into him on campus, and he turned out to be teachable, and kind of attractive in a noir, 1950s American clueless hetero male jackass John Wayne kind of way. Had creases on his pants I really wanted to mess up. Drove a Buick!
Also, he made me laugh–a lot–and that can go a long way to breaking down barriers. We spent the night together: we went dancing; I showed him my favorite swimming hole–I played a bit with his fear of being alone up here in the forest in the middle of the night. I thought, put him through some paces; maybe he won’t mind joining the fight against wind turbines on our ridgelines. We’re already an eclectic lot: me with my tattoos and dreadlocks, a few of my lumbersexual students, some of the old farm wives still sportin’ granny dress couture, skinny science guys with pocket protectors, fighting monster turbines… So, it was an interesting night, to hear him tell about it . . .
See item at Amazon.com
Peter Gould — who is a playwright, a novelist, a Shakespearean scholar, a director,and an all-around literary provocateur — is one of the most fearless writers alive. With his novela titled Marly, he has taken on an urgent subject, NO LESS THAN SAVING THE EARTH, with brassy humor, verbal pyrotechnics, and dialogue so vivid, it’s as if a reader is standing right next to the characters as they philosophically riff, fling ideas back and forth, flirt and light up with moods and opinions.
He gets to the souls of the young with intuitive genius. Gould is the dramaturge of our wordly problems and sense of wondrous possibility — he is a literary treasure.
— a blurbicle from Howard Norman, author of The Bird Artist, Next Life Might Be Kinder and I Hate To Leave This Beautiful Place
PETER GOULD [HIMSELF] SAYS: “On the third day of the Wildbranch Environmental Writing Workshop in June, 2011, our teacher Sandra Steingraber said, “Okay. Too much about cancer and toxic tap water, and what goes into hot dogs. Tonight, try to write light-hearted. Write something funny, if you can.”
It wasn’t easy. The subjects that came up in class weren’t funny. Our little earnest group had a worried, wounded pall that needed to be lifted. We were all in awe of Sandra; we wanted to be as righteous and heroic as she is.
That evening, while I sat outside Sterling College library in Vermont’s north woods, this story popped into my head. The character and voice came to me entire—not a phenomenon I’m used to, and certainly not a voice I’d ever heard before. He started beating around my head like a bat at sundown. He kept coming back again and again in the weeks to come.
The literary form arrived at the same time. Never saw anything like it before. (That doesn’t mean someone else hasn’t tried it. Not claiming that.)
PETER GOULD was a member of the back-to-the-land movement in Vermont in the 1970s, a way of life he chronicled in the novels Burnt Toast (Alfred A. Knopf), and Write Naked (Farrar, Straus, & Giroux), which won the 2009 National Green Earth Book Award. Marly was conceived at the Wildbranch Writers’ Workshop at Sterling College, Vermont, in 2011. It's coming Nov. 6!