An experimental novella in one (unique!) voice . . .
Marly is dramatic climate fiction in a new literary form. To find out what that means, read it, or hear it read aloud, or both. Green Writers Press is a new Brattleboro-based publisher lighting up the New England literary landscape with high-quality books on ecological themes. Gould, the author of three well-known published novels, is a professor in the Conflict Transformation Program at Brandeis. He’s the smaller, quieter half of the renowned theater duo, Gould & Stearns. The fictional female character, Marly, teaches at a small Vermont College, where she specializes in forestry, wildlife habitat, chainsaw technique and self-defense for women. She’s a survivor of domestic violence; strong and self-actualized as she is, she still suffers from the after effect of the attack.
AUTHOR PETER GOULD SAYS: “On the third day of the Wildbranch Environmental Writing Workshop in June, 2011, our teacher Sandra Steingraber said, ‘Okay. Too much about cancer and toxic tap water, and what goes into hot dogs. Tonight, try to write light-hearted. Write something funny, if you can.’
It wasn’t easy. The subjects that came up in class weren’t funny. Our little earnest group had a worried, wounded pall that needed to be lifted. We were all in awe of Sandra; we wanted to be as righteous and heroic as she is.
That evening, while I sat outside Sterling College library in Vermont’s north woods, this story popped into my head. The character and voice came to me entire—not a phenomenon I’m used to, and certainly not a voice I’d ever heard before. He started beating around my head like a bat at sundown. He kept coming back again and again in the weeks to come.
The literary form arrived at the same time. Never saw anything like it before. (That doesn’t mean someone else hasn’t tried it. Not claiming that.)
My advice to the reader? Get comfortable, pour yourself a local beer, and read the whole thing outloud. Choose a name and an appropriate voice for the guy. You’ll have to fill in everything she says, and wait while she says it, but, there’s nothing intrinsically wrong with an interactive book, is there?
Right. That’s what I thought, too.”
About the Author:
PETER GOULD was a member of the back-to-the-land movement in Vermont in the 1970s, a way of life he chronicled in the novels Burnt Toast (Alfred A. Knopf), and Write Naked (Farrar, Straus, & Giroux), which won the 2009 National Green Earth Book Award. Marly was conceived at the Wildbranch Writers’ Workshop at Sterling College, Vermont, in 2011.
Praise for Marly:
“Peter Gould—playwright, novelist, Shakespearean scholar, director, all around literary provocateur—is one of the most fearless writers alive. With Marly, he has again taken on an urgent subject, NO LESS THAN SAVING THE EARTH, with brassy humor, verbal pyrotechnics, and dialogue so vivid, it’s as if a reader is standing right next to the characters as they philosophically riff, fling ideas back and forth, flirt and light up with moods and opinions. He gets to the souls of the young with intuitive genius. Gould is the dramaturge of our wordly problems and sense of wondrous possibility—he is a national treasure.”
—Howard Norman, author of The Bird Artist, Next Life Might Be Kinder and I Hate To Leave This Beautiful Place
Marly in the NEWS:
Listen to Peter talk about Marly’s plot and the dramatic reading of Marly at the historic Latchis Theater in downtown Brattleboro, February 7, 2016.
Marly | A novella by Peter Gould | PUB DATE: Nov. 16, 2015
5 x 8; trade paperback; 102 pages; $12.95 | ISBN: 978-0-9961357-1-9 (pbk)
Author available for readings throughout New England.
Distributed by Midpoint Trade Books, Ingram’s, Baker & Taylor.