Liquid Ink

The official website of Gint Aras, Finalist 2016 CWA Book Award


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Take my Prose Writing Workshop, 2019

Starting on January 14th, I’ll be leading a Writing Workshop at Morton College, in Cicero, Illinois. The workshop meets twice weekly and runs until May 15th. It’s a community college class, so in-district and out-of-district fees apply, but pricing can be found at the college website or by calling 708-656-8000. The class will focus on narrative non-fiction, but it will remain open to fiction. No poetry will be workshopped.

To register, go to the Morton College website and look for ENG 152-1F, Creative Writing II.

I’m not just the workshop leader but also the advisor for the Morton Collegian, the student newspaper. This class will also offer participants the possibility of having their (non-fiction) work submitted for review to the Collegian’s editors. The paper will be redesigned next year, and would like to publish more personal essays.

I hope you’ll join us!

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Photo from Wikipedia.


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My new book, available Autumn 2019

Some people have been wondering why Liquid Ink has been so silent. Instead of writing here, I’ve spent the last year working on a variety of projects, including a manuscript currently under contract with Homebound Publications.

It’s titled Relief by Execution: A Visit to Mauthausen.  As you might imagine, the book is about a trip I took to Mauthausen and what sort of consciousness I discovered there. It’s also an intimate look at fixed ideas I inherited while growing up in a xenophobic and bigoted environment. Those ideas influenced my perceptions, but they finally shattered completely during my visit to a concentration camp.

Expect more news as the publication date approaches, and follow me here on Liquid Ink for updates.  You can also follow my author page on Facebook and hear my banter on Twitter.

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Are you going to hell?

Americans are confused about this question, so I’ve come up with a way to simplify it for us.

Here’s a brief quiz. Today, you can learn if you’re going to hell in only two easy steps.

Step number one: take the brief quiz.

1.) Do you know the Earth is older than 4,000 years?

2.)  Can you name a single book

3.) Are you making America great?

Correct answers:

1.) Yes

2.) Yes 

3.) Yes  

Step number two, let’s debrief.

If you answered “no” to any combination of the questions, here’s news: hell’s not on its way. It might already be here.

Let’s take a close look at the questions:

Question 1

You’re aware that it takes a tree 50 or 100 years to grow, right? You know a fetus gestates for 9 months, no matter the pregnant woman’s religion? Your body requires 6 to 8 hours to go from chewed-up Italian Beef to Chicago-style bowel movement. It takes an ice cube 20 minutes to melt on a summer day. Rome rose and collapsed over the course of centuries. It takes you fifteen minutes to fill a bathtub with water, yet you think the oceans are 4,000 years old? It takes a child 30 minutes to build a sand castle, but the Himalayan Mountains popped up instantly 4,000 years ago?

Question 2

Where did you get that story about how old the Earth is? How do you win friends and influence people, and where did you first consider the possibility that dealmaking is an art form? Unlike those who think things are black and white, book readers consider the possibility that gray might have 50 shades. That possibility extends itself, quite naturally, to believing that values might also be fluid, that evil might put on a disguise.

Question 3

So…you’re not making America great? Well, what exactly are you doing? How are you going about it? If you need the qualifier…if you need to make America great again—back, for example, to the days when the masses could neither read the Bible nor compute beyond the most basic equations—you need to reconsider. To believe we were ever great is to think we never had anything to improve. It’s to suffer from a sin of pride, which at least one famous book identifies as a grave transgression.

And what, according to the book, is that transgression’s punishment?

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Image of the Medieval illustration of Hell in the Hortus deliciarum manuscript of Herrad of Landsberg (about 1180), from Wikipedia


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New short story: Visits

I’m happy to announce that my short story, Visits, has been published in the current (Spring, 2018) issue of Hypertext Review.  You can buy the magazine at the link, or you can attend the Hypertext Release Party at the Book Stall in Winnetka:

Hypertext Review Party
The Book Stall
811 Elm St. Winnetka, IL
Sunday, May 20th at 2 PM

The story behind this short piece of fiction is, just like the story of how I published The Fugue, a case in patience. I completed Visits over 18 years ago. It was one of the first short stories I had written to completion while living in New York and attending Columbia University. I had tried to place it numerous times but eventually put it away as a failed story. On a whim, I responded to a call for submissions, digging it out of the bowels of some hard drive. Now it’s available for all to read, and you can find a preview here.

Yes, that’s a loon on the cover, or a confluence of loon and string. Fitting, I think…

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Reading some smut

Next Wednesday, May 23rd, join me and a host of other Chicago authors to celebrate Volumes Bookcafe and its first-ever publication, Between the Covers, an anthology of lascivious lashings and erotic spew.

That’s May 23rd at 7:00 PM at Volumes Bookcafe, 1474 N Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago (where else?). Entrance is $10. Click here to order.

I’m joined by Rebecca Makkai, Renee Rosen, Kathleen Rooney, C. Russel Price, Adam Morgan, Sara Cutaia, Susanna Calkins, Maryse Meijer, Tara Betts, Jeremy Owens, Lauren Emily, Thea Goodman, McKenzie Chin and Megan Stielstra.


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Take my workshop, help Volumes Books

There’s now an added reason to sign up for my Prose Writing Workshop that starts in April. I’ll be donating 10% of collected tuition to Volumes Bookcafe. The Wicker Park bookstore, one of my favorites, reached out to the community help it stay afloat in an atmosphere that provided challenge after challenge to the small business.

Volumes’ struggle is not one that comes because of any error or poor intention. You can read about it here also also here. When Volumes opened not two years ago, it became an instant cultural institution—an intimate community of writers and readers formed there, as if overnight. The support this store continues to offer local writers, independent and small presses, under-represented voices and young people who gravitate to books, ideas and art is simply unparalleled.

So, if you love Volumes and you have been thinking of getting some feedback on a text  that’s in-progress, or even if you just need someone to provoke you into writing through the difficult start of something, ten percent of your tuition fee will go to Volumes Books.

For the record, yes, I have donated independently to their campaign. Folks interested in simply making a donation to Volumes of any amount can do so here.

Volumes 6


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Reading with Anca L. Szilágyi

This Saturday, March 3, I’ll be reading from The Fugue, joining Anca L. Szilágyi, author of Daughters of the Air. Anca and I met back in 2016, when I was reading in Seattle, part of the release tour for The Fugue. Since that time, she has published Daughters of the Air, a beautifully crafted novel about a young woman’s flight to New York City, wartime migration to the United States and Latin American identity.

Saturday, March 3, 2018 – 6:00pm
The Book Cellar
4736 N Lincoln
Chicago, Illinois

About DAUGHTERS OF THE AIR

“Anca L. Szilágyi’s intense debut novel, ‘Daughters of the Air,’ locates a deeply personal story against the surreal backdrop of [Argentina’s Dirty War].”

-The Seattle Times

“Anca Szilágyi’s Daughters of the Air is a fantastic debut…a product of alchemy, a creation of unearthly talents.”

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