Paradise, or, Eat Your Face;
A Trio of Novellas
From acclaimed author Alan Cheuse comes a trio of provocative novellas. In the title piece, “Paradise, or, Eat Your Face,” we meet travel writer Susan Wheelis and follow her exotic journey to Bali, and into her own frustrated soul. “Care” centers on Rafe Santera, a recent stroke victim who was once a vibrant, intellectual romantic. Attended by one of his many female admirers, we find ourselves in the midst of an unusual and politically incorrect love story. Cheuse takes us into Santera’s erotic past, set against the daily struggles of a harrowing decline. The third novella, “When The Stars Threw Down Their Spears and Watered Heaven with Their Tears,” follows author Paul Brunce as he grapples with art, life, and family. Publisher’s Weekly has praised Cheuse’s “impressive command of many voices” and, in this collection, he is once again in top form and in possession of a powerful range of literary gifts.
Alan, a prolific writer in the short form, has novellas and stories that have appeared in numerous magazines and journals, including The New Yorker, Ploughshares, The Antioch Review, Prairie Schooner, New Letters, The Idaho Review, and The Southern Review. But, rarely, are they gathered in one place.
SFWP believes the novella is a vital piece of the craft of writing. In 2007, we released The Fires, two novellas by Alan Cheuse. We happily return now to Alan’s work with a trilogy of novellas in Paradise, or, Eat Your Face. Adapting to the changing face of publishing, this title will be available primarily as an ebook, supported by a limited print run. The goal is to reduce the costs involved in publishing so that we can better (and much more frequently) bring to light work of a non-traditional nature. In electronic format, the old school lit zine can live once again, the chapbook can thrive, the novella’s place in the pantheon is renewed. Alan paves the way for this exciting new project.
Read Howard Norman’s introduction right here.
Praise for Paradise, or, Eat Your Face
With his latest collection of novellas, Cheuse takes readers to Bali, to elder care, and then beyond life itself in an emotional tour of the American mindset. The stories are gripping, engaging, funny and every bit as weird as we are.
I read these novellas the way one might the most highly esteemed Edo-period Japan triptych: in its entirety the screen orchestrates a wonderful story, but each panel has an autonomously provocative immediacy, and is itself deeply gratifying.