New Ploughshares Solo: “The Beginning of the End of the Beginning” by Anne Elliott

Elliott-FinalWe are pleased to announce the publication of the latest in our Ploughshares Solos series, “The Beginning of the End of the Beginning” by Anne Elliott!  The Ploughshares Solos series allows us to publish longer stories and essays first in an affordable digital format, and then in our annual Ploughshares Solos Omnibus Series. For more information and some great reading material, check out our previously published Solos, or the recently released Ploughshares Solos Omnibus Volume 2. Check in every month from August to May for new reading material!

About “The Beginning of the End of the Beginning”

Meet Clay, a Brooklyn performance artist who is sick of being broke. Sporting a row of stitches from his last show, and severely in debt to both family and girlfriend, he decides to do the unthinkable: get a straight job. Clay shaves off his green hair, teaches himself to type, and gets a secretarial gig on Wall Street. But is this just another form of theater? Will his girlfriend still love him in a necktie? What about his artist friends–will they forgive him for consorting with the enemy? Is the enemy actually an enemy at all?

Starting in a hospital emergency room, meandering through corporate cubicles and cafeterias, galloping through an underground Williamsburg performance, and closing in the Twin Towers with Clay’s tortured, self-destructive boss and an unflappable goat, “The Beginning of the End of the Beginning” is a bittersweet romp through the innocence of 1999 New York City, a time when heartbreak was still heartbreak and broke was still broke, but the city itself felt unsinkable.

“The Beginning of the End of the Beginning” is available on Kindle for $2.99.Continue Reading

New Ploughshares Solo: “Café Deux Mondes” by Catherine Browder

Browder-FinalWe are excited to announce the publication of the latest addition to our Ploughshares Solos series, “Café Deux Mondes”, by Catherine BrowderThe Ploughshares Solos series allows us to publish longer stories and essays first in an affordable digital format, and then in our annual Ploughshares Solos Omnibus Series. For more information and some great reading material, check out our previously published Solos, or the recently released Ploughshares Solos Omnibus Volume 2. Check in every month from August to May for new reading material!

About “Café Deux Mondes”

When the Khourys and McKissicks meet to share a neighborly meal, an adventure begins. Living in the changing ethnic landscape of Kansas City, one is a family of Syrian immigrants; the other, African Americans with roots in Louisiana. What brings them together is a love of food. Along with friendship, a dream takes root between the two mothers, Miriam and Tamara—starting a new restaurant that will feature the specialties from both of their traditions: the Café Deux Mondes, or Two Worlds Cafe. Little do they know just what they are up against when they begin their venture. From the skepticism of their churches to neighborhood crime, disaster always seems to be just around the corner. Award-winning writer Catherine Browder takes a warm look at the troubles and joys of the American melting pot, and how we can grow even from our failures.

“Café Deux Mondes” is available on Kindle for $1.99.Continue Reading

Ploughshares Solos Omnibus Volume 2 is Now Available!

3D Cover Omnibus 2 WhiteWe are thrilled to announce the release of the Ploughshares Solos Omnibus Volume 2, the second print compilation of our Ploughshsares Solos series!

After individually publishing each of our Ploughshares Solos in an affordable digital format, we are pleased to offer a beautifully-designed print anthology featuring nine Solos. This Omnibus, edited by Ladette Randolph, is a collection of works by Paul Byall, Christopher Castellani, Brendan Jones, Aurelie Sheehan, L.C. Fiore, Lisa Heiserman Perkins, Kathleen Hill, Patricia Grace King, and Alexandra Johnson.

The Ploughshares Solos Omnibus Volume 2 can be purchased at www.pshares.org for $19.95. This omnibus edition is also included in subscriptions to Ploughshares, the literary journal. Upgrade your subscription today to be sure you don’t miss this Omnibus!Continue Reading

New Ploughshares Solo: “Found Wanting: A Memoir of Misreading” by Robert Howard

Howard-SoloCoverWe are proud to announce the publication of our newest Ploughshares solo, “Found Wanting: A Memoir of Misreading,” by Robert Howard. The Ploughshares Solos series allows us to first publish longer stories and essays in an affordable digital format, then in our annual Ploughshares Solos Omnibus Collection. For more information and some great reading material, check out our previously published Solos. Check in every month from August to May for new reading material!

About “Found Wanting: A Memoir of Misreading”

When Robert Howard is assigned James Joyce’s A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man in his Catholic high school, his teacher, a Jesuit priest, announces, “Other people may read about it, but you are LIVING it!” Not surprisingly, the young Howard, growing up in 1970s Detroit, feels an intense identification with Joyce’s protagonist, Stephen Dedalus. Although separated by an ocean and almost a century, they share troubled family lives along with a tormented relationship with faith and sexual desire. After re-reading Portrait in middle age, Howard looks at his two very different responses to the novel, and what he noticed and didn’t notice when he was young. “Found Wanting” is part literary memoir, part reappraisal of a literary classic, and part skeptical look at the idea of art as a pathway to personal transformation.

This Solo is available on Kindle for $2.99.Continue Reading

New Ploughshares Solo: “Pie” by Suzanne Matson

Matson-Final-smallerWe’re thrilled to kick off our third volume of Ploughshares Solos with “Pie,” a story by Suzanne Matson. Over the past two years, our Ploughshares Solos series has given us the opportunity to publish excellent long-form stories and essays: first in an easily affordable digital format, and then in our annual Ploughshares Solos Omnibus collection. We have some great work lined up for this third year of Solos, and we’re really excited to share it with you. Stay tuned for a new Solo nearly every month from August through May. If you are in search of even more reading material, you can see all our Solos on www.pshares.org.

About “Pie”
Leaving behind her strict Mennonite upbringing, Kathryn has moved west by herself. America has just won victory in Japan, and a charming older man begins visiting the diner where Kathryn works, taking her out dancing and around town. With her old soldier boyfriends now scattered, and the country flush with postwar happiness, Kathryn takes a chance on her mysterious admirer and moves to Los Angeles with him. But how much does she really know about her new boyfriend? In this Solo, acclaimed novelist and poet Suzanne Matson looks at the thrill and danger inherent in the American dream of unrestricted liberty.

This Solo is available on Kindle for $1.99.

Continue Reading

New Ploughshares Solo: Twice Eggs by Alexandra Johnson

Johnson-UPDcoverWe are thrilled to announce the publication of “Twice Eggs,” the latest Ploughshares Solo by Alexandra Johnson. The Ploughshares Solos series allows us to publish long stories and essays in a digital format. Recent Ploughshares Solos include “Small Country” by Patricia Grace King and “Portrait” by Kathleen Hill.Continue Reading

New Ploughshares Solo: Small Country by Patricia Grace King

King-Apr28We are thrilled to announce the publication of “Small Country,” the latest Ploughshares Solo by Patricia Grace King. The Ploughshares Solos series allows us to publish long stories and essays in a digital format. Recent Ploughshares Solos include “Urchin” by Lisa Heiserman Perkins and “Portrait” by Kathleen Hill. Visit our website to see all of the Solos.

Fleeing a turbulent Guatemala with her parents, Penny returns to America and is forced to deal with a fresh kind of trauma: summer Bible camp for Mennonite teens. Along with her outspoken and rebellious friend Gina, Penny struggles to deal with her past, the camp’s fierce regulations, and the sexual energy that electrifies the air between the campers (and even the counselors). This coming-of-age story offers an intimate look into a young girl’s attempt to find her place and start figuring out which rules are worth breaking.

“Small Country” is available on Amazon.com Kindle Store as a Kindle Single for $0.99Continue Reading

New Ploughshares Solo: Portrait by Kathleen Hill

Hill Final CoverWe’re excited to announce the publication of the latest Ploughshares Solo: “Portrait” by Kathleen Hill. The Ploughshares Solos series allows us to publish long essays and stories in a digital format. Recent Ploughshares Solos include “The Trench Garden” by L.C. Fiore and “Urchin” by Lisa Heiserman Perkins. Visit our website to see all the Ploughshares Solos.

Young and inexperienced, Kathleen Hill moves to newly independent Nigeria with her husband to teach at Igbobi College. It is the early 1960s, and Hill is soon caught in the swirl of the times: the legacy of colonialism, chaos back in America, and violence and racism that reach across the globe, intruding even into the calm little school where she teaches her students literature. As a way of steadying and finding herself in this new place, she begins reading Henry James’ Portrait of a Lady, and there discovers disturbing resonances with her own life. Dedicated to Chinua Achebe, “Portrait” is an essay that pays homage to a vanished world and to the great books of English literature, both old and new, in all of their glorious and complicated diversity.

Available on Amazon.com Kindle Store as a Kindle Single for $0.99.

An excerpt from the Solo:

The head boy spoke, wishing a good holiday not only to Mr. Olatunbosun but also to Mr. Esubiyi, the vice-principal, to all the masters, and last but not least to his fellow students. Then followed more English Christmas songs. For the evening’s conclusion, Mr. Amaichi, the music teacher, had written an Ibo carol, sung now to the accompaniment of Yoruba drums hung with little silver bells that jingled and shook. The drummers, students from the upper forms, bent over their instruments, gathered the strings to tighten the skins or loosen them. These were the talking drums, and the hook of a finger could elicit another tone, some other meaning entirely: as could the flats of the drummers’ palms, the fluttering tips of their fingers. Continue Reading

New Ploughshares Solo: Urchin by Lisa Heiserman Perkins

Perkins-Final-Cover-ShrunkWe’re excited to announce the publication of a new Ploughshares Solo: “Urchin” by Lisa Heiserman Perkins.  The Ploughshares Solos series allows us to publish long essays and stories in a digital format. Recent Ploughshares Solos include “This Is Blue” by Aurelie Sheehan and “The Trench Garden” by L.C. Fiore. Visit our website to see all the Ploughshares Solos.

Living under the shadow of two gifted parents, Astrid Nordling feels trapped everywhere but at the piano, finding solace in Schubert and Debussy. Her piano teacher is convinced that she is a prodigy; her mother is not so sure. Set in 1960s Chicago, this excerpt from Lisa Heiserman Perkins upcoming novel shows that there can be such a thing as too much talent in a single family. As Astrid competes with her dramatic, high-strung mother for the spotlight, their tug-of-war threatens to pull the family apart.

Available on Amazon.com Kindle Store, Barnes and Noble Nook Store.

An excerpt from the Solo:

Dorothea was in her room, already wearing a dress and getting out her scrapbook of photos from House Beautiful. Astrid once overheard Janelle tell Anthony that Dorothea was a ‘stolid child.’ “And how Otto and I produced a stolid child is beyond me. It’s more than sad,” she’d said, “but what does one do?” Continue Reading

New Ploughshares Solo: The Trench Garden by L.C. Fiore

The Trench GardenWe’re excited to announce the publication of a new Ploughshares Solo: “The Trench Garden” by L.C. Fiore.  The Ploughshares Solos series allows us to publish long essays and stories in a digital format. Recent Ploughshares Solos include “This Blue” by Aurelie Sheehan and  “The Outside Passage” by Brendan Jones. Visit our website to see all the Ploughshares Solos.

As the Second World War rages in Europe, two undergraduates in Tennessee work a summer job for a celebrated poetry professor, W. T. Harlan, as he supervises the clearing of a ravine to make a garden. At their side is a German POW, watched by a military guard, who has been sent to help them with their task.

One of the boys, Benjamin Mason, is from a wealthy family and aspires to be a poet; the other, Steven Darby yearns simply to escape his corner of America and explore the world. As they work, they will get to know the German soldier next to them and the brilliant, unhappy W. T. Harlan.

By the end of the summer, through the experience of war, poetry, and tragedy, all of their lives will be transformed.

Available on Kindle for $0.99.

An excerpt from the Solo:

He and the German were transplanting flowers that had been driven up from Cowan. They knelt beside one another, the prisoner separating and stringing out the roots of primrose and iris while Darby dug shallow holes. He reached for the spade, leaning, and the German grabbed his arm.

Was ist das?” the soldier asked. Continue Reading