Liquid Ink

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


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Art is resistance

It’s always an exciting step when your publisher tells you the cover of your book is finished. Here it is.

Relief Execution Cover final

The release date is October 8th. Pre-order begins on Amazon and Barnes and Noble some time late next week, February 21st. Follow Liquid Ink to keep up with the details, including news about the launch party, scheduled for October.

Here’s what Mikhail Iossel, the founder of the Summer Literary Seminars, and a samizdat writer born in the USSR, had to say after reading it:

This short text packs a powerful punch. A searingly raw exploration of one’s roots, one’s original milieu, one’s upbringing and one’s own conscience. At times difficult to read, it is nonetheless entirely engrossing. Hard to look at yet impossible to look away. A remarkable piece of writing.

From the back cover:

Between the years of 1996-1999, Gint Aras lived a hapless bohemian’s life in Linz, Austria. Decades later, a random conversation with a Polish immigrant in a Chicago coffeehouse provokes a question: why didn’t Aras ever visit Mauthausen, or any of the other holocaust sites close to his former home? The answer compels him to visit the concentration camp in the winter of 2017, bringing with him the baggage of a childhood shaped by his family of Lithuanian WWII refugees. The result is this meditative inquiry, at once lyrical and piercing, on the nature of ethnic identity, the constructs of race and nation, and the lasting consequences of collective trauma. 

Fussweg


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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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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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