ARROYO CIRCLE is a work of literary fiction that explores our collective role in the climate crisis through the lives of a homeless scientist and the handmaiden of a hoarder, with a flash of quantum physics tossed in the mix. Set in Boulder, Colorado, the novel opens in late summer of 2019 with wildfires, and ends in spring 2020 with the Covid pandemic and the killing of George Floyd. The protagonist is Shelley, a 55-year-old single white woman, who is pulled over by the police at gunpoint after someone reports she put a baby in the trunk of her car. It was actually a tub of kitty litter. She works for a wealthy hoarder and was doing the daily shopping. She is so incensed at being wrongfully stopped, she ends up in the legal system. In the meanwhile, a distracted mother actually did put her baby in the trunk, and the baby dies, although no one knows the mother was responsible. Because Shelley is doing court-ordered community service, wildfires destroy the hoarding house and its owners. When the novel jumps to 2020, Shelley has been renting out her home on Airbnb to stay afloat. On rental days, she lives on the street. Homelessness has gotten harder with the pandemic, with food banks and the library closed. She is helped along by Les, an alcoholic, shape-shifting, former NOAA scientist, who lives in the creek bed behind her house.
About the Author
JoeAnn Hart is the author of Highwire Act & Other Tales of Survival, a collection of short fiction forthcoming from Black Lawrence press in September 2023. Her most recent book is Stamford ’76: A True Story of Murder, Corruption, Race, and Feminism in the 1970s (University of Iowa Press, April, 2019), a crime memoir that weaves together the personal and public threads of a friend’s 1976 bow-and-arrow death. Her novels are Float (Ashland Creek Press, 2013) a dark comedy about plastics in the ocean, and Addled (Little, Brown, 2007) a social satire that intertwines animal rights with the politics of food. Her work, which also includes articles, essays, and drama, often explores the relationship between humans and their environments, natural or otherwise. Publications include Slate.com, Terrain.org, the anthology Dreams of a Broken World, Orion, Solstice, The Hopper, and the anthology Black Lives Have Always Mattered. She lives in Gloucester, Massachusetts, America’s oldest seaport, where fishing regulations, the health of the ocean, and the natural beauty of the world are the daily topics of wonder and concern.
Trim Size: 6 x 9
Page Count: 224
Price: $21.95 (CA $29.08)
Publication Date: OCTOBER 2024
Distributor: IPG/Chicago, Ingram.
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