Liquid Ink

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


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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.

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Unburdened from sin or connected to God

Reviews of The Fugue have, until this point, compared the book to the likes of Fyodor Dostoevsky, Victor Hugo, Virginia Woolf, Boris Pasternak, Betty Smith, Nelson Algren, Richard Powers, Flannery O’Connor and others.

Commentators have noted the book’s fugue-like structure, its homage to classical music and opera, and its use of various techniques of visual art, among them simultaneity. The latest review, from Amy Strauss Friedman, writing for the Yellow Chair Review notes the novel’s similarity to pointillism.

Aras has given us a masterful web of narrative that feels much like pointillism in painting, in which an artist uses individual dots to create a larger, intricate image.

She goes on to write:

The Fugue is an epic work that will ensnare you from the first chapter and won’t let you go even after you’ve finished it. It is a composition that all should hear.

I guess the only way to see if all these people are just talking craziness is to read the book for yourself. As your library to order it, get it at your favorite bookstore or buy it here.

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Wicker Park Fest, Day 2

So…today Chicago faces isolated thunderstorms and another +90 degree day. Yesterday a crowd of a few hundred stood before the main stage at Wicker Park Fest and sang Que Sera Sera along with a band, this while battleship-gray thunderheads approached. The sky opened. Lightning struck. Adults and children danced. It was beautiful.

Also, some came around Volumes Book Cafe to cool down, grab a drink, then purchase and have their copies of The Fugue signed. I spoke to readers from as far away as Germany and Puerto Rico (and Madison, Wisconsin…and Laredo, Texas…and Aurora, Illinois…and a town in Maine whose name I will never remember).

I’ll be at Volumes again today (er…at an indoor table). Come check out Chicago’s newest bookstore between points of festival frolic. 1474 N Milwaukee Avenue. There’s a chance I might sell out before 4:00, as we have a limited amount of copies left.

 

Come grab one of these copies before they’re gone

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What are people saying about The Fugue?

“Magisterial…like Dostoevsky…” (Chicago Tribune)

“A welcome addition to the bookshelf of Chicago authors…” (WGN Radio)

“A masterpiece of literary fiction…” (Centered on Books)


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Independent Bookstore Day: Volumes Book Cafe

I’m very happy to team up with Volumes Book Cafe to sell some books tomorrow afternoon. It’s Independent Bookstore Day, and Volumes is Chicago’s newest bookstore. I recently visited to take some pictures and just fell in love with the gorgeous space. It’s bright, uplifting, heavily caffeinated, and the shelves are stacked with great books. I was especially impressed with the extensive fiction collection.

Come tomorrow between 1:00-3:00 PM to meet me, buy a book and get it signed. If you haven’t heard, the Chicago Tribune called my novel, The Fugue, “magisterial,” and Centered on Books said it’s a “masterpiece of literary fiction.”

My publisher, Tortoise Books, will also be on hand to sell many of their titles.

Here are some impressions of Volumes:

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Best places to buy Finding the Moon in Sugar

Dear Liquid Inkers:

If you’ve decided you’d like to purchase (Cheers to you!) a paperback copy of my book, Finding the Moon in Sugar, *and* you live in the United States, I hope you’ll consider two very special independent bookstores. They both currently stock copies and ship to the continental 48 (as well as, I believe, Canada). If you’re a Chicagoan and have never visited either store, I have just kicked you in the balls *kick* and bought you “L” fare. *Beep* Now go!

The first is Oak Park’s The Book Table. This bookstore is a tiny miracle. According to various laws of Western culture, it should be in a town like Bloomington, Indiana or Boulder, Colorado. Coffee-drinker-book-reader cities like Seattle, Amsterdam and Copenhagen offer nothing like it (at least they did not when I last visited). The Table offers books at shocking discounts, and the owners, Jason and Rachel, are thoroughly knowledgable. They have supported my work since the beginning.

The next is Quimby’s, another miracle, appropriately in Chicago’s Wicker Park. Quimby’s has been fighting the publishing industry’s good fight for a long time, and they work hard to get out the work of indy publishers and authors. Some of the weirdest shit I’ve ever seen in print is available at Quimby’s, and I routinely surprise reader friends with off-the-wall gifts. They stack not just Finding the Moon, but Criminal Class Review, a lit mag in which my fiction has twice appeared.

Please support these businesses, important cultural institutions to Chicagoland. Cheers!