featured on M Live
Eric’s debut novel, Above All Men, and his pre-release party at the first stop on his cross-country book tour, received an article on Michigan’s M Live:
“Above All Men highlights values unique to the Midwest while also speaking to a larger audience ... exactly the sort of story we were hoping to publish when we launched the press.”
“Above All Men promotes a unique Midwestern mythology. It gets a dialogue going about the region and the culture here, and that is something we couldn’t ignore. That, and the writing is just so, so good.”
“Ann Arbor-based literary journal and press will unveil book at pre-release party
MG Press, an Ann Arbor-based literary journal (Midwestern Gothic) and independent press, will host a pre-release party Monday at Literati Bookstore, located at 124 E Washington St, for its most recent novel, Above All Men, by Ohio native Eric Shonkwiler.
The event starts at 7 p.m. and will feature Shonkwiler reading excerpts of the book for about a half an hour. He will then be available to sign copies of the book, which isn’t officially available for sale until March 1. The book will be available for sale at Literati for the special pre-release party, however, according to Robert James Russell, co-founding editor of Midwestern Gothic [and co-founder of MG Press].
“Eric is a wonderful public speaker as well, so it’s a great opportunity to hear him read his own work,” Russell said in an email. “I love living in Ann Arbor, and absolutely adore the literary community here, and urge anyone interested to come out and support this talented young author.”
Russell said the novel is a tale about murder, revenge and family, that “highlights values unique to the Midwest while also speaking to a larger audience ... exactly the sort of story we were hoping to publish when we launched (the press.)”
The novel takes place years in the future as America slowly collapses, according to a description found on MG Press’ website.
Amid a world of dying crops and depleting oil resources, a war veteran goes after the killer of a local child who has been murdered.
Shonkwiler hails from Ohio, but has lived all over the country, including California where he received his master’s of fine arts in creative writing from The University of California, Riverside. He said he is excited to be coming to Michigan for the unveiling of his book.
“I’m very excited to launch my novel in Ann Arbor,” he said in an email. “I’ve only been to the area a few times, but I’ve enjoyed every minute.”
This will be the second book published by MG Press, the publishing arm of the quarterly literary journal (Midwestern Gothic) launched by Russell and co-founder Jeff Pfaller in 2010. The journal focuses on writing and writers with ties to the Midwest.
“The idea of the journal was to collect the very best in Midwestern writing in a way that has never been done before, cataloging the oeuvre of an often-overlooked region of the United States ripe with its own mythologies and tall tales,” Russell said.
Their first book, released in 2013, was a collection of short stories entitled This Jealous Earth by Scott Dominic Carpenter.
As for their second effort, the press chose Shonkwiler’s for its Midwest sensibilities, but also because it was a book that transcended time or place, according to Russell.
“Ultimately, we felt Eric’s novel helps celebrate the diversity of the Midwest,” he said. “It helps promote a unique Midwestern mythology; it gets a dialogue going about the region and the culture here, and that is something we couldn’t ignore—that and the writing is just so, so good.”