Archive for June, 2013

Here’s what Suzanne Burns, author of Misfits and Other Heroes and Ghost Wife, among other fine works, had to say about my next book:

Holidays and Other Disasters by John G. Rodwan Jr. forces me to question whether or not I have lived an authentic life or if I have been pretending: to decorate each year’s Christmas tree with gusto, to celebrate every holiday without ever asking what we are collectively celebrating, to attend midnight mass and wait for that epiphany that never quite seems to come. Written in a genre bending style that blends the tightness of journalistic prose with a touch of pleasantly elegiac reminiscing, I recommend this book for people who not only think they have all the answers but for those, like me, who never even knew the right questions to ask.”

Read Full Post »

The cover for my next book, set to publish this fall:
Book Jacket_FINAL

Read Full Post »

Humanist Press will be publishing my next book, Holidays and Other Disasters, later this year. Here’s what Ken Hada, author of Spare Parts (winner of the Western Heritage Award) had to say about it:

“Contrarian, snarky, clever, thoughtful, historically justified, John Rodwan’s Holidays and Other Disasters presents the time-tested personal essay in the egalitarian, humanist tradition that underscores the best of American life. I would say the book is cause to celebrate, but in the spirit of Rodwan’s reflection, I don’t want to stir up any cultic followings, but then again …..”

Read Full Post »

For several reasons, I might have been predisposed to like Bernie Hafeli’s Bear Season: about a third of it takes place in my hometown, Detroit, and the author refers to boxers and jazz musicians, athletes and artists about whom I too have written. Ultimately, however, those factors have nothing to do with why I enjoyed the novel, the story of a fatherless boy, a drunken uncle and a soldier bear.

Now I know that “soldier bear” might cause eyebrows to rise. One blurb on the back cover invokes John Irving – not one of my favorite writers. And yes, there really is a friendly goofball of a bear in the book. But if in plotting such a narrative Hafeli risked descending into sap or silliness, it’s a testament to his abilities that he doesn’t.

The book spoke to me not because of cameos by fighters or musicians or the local connection (or because Hafeli is the cousin of a friend of mine or the book was published by an outfit in Portland, OR, another city where I’ve lived) but rather because it’s a skillfully crafted depiction of a boy at the very beginning of the journey to adulthood. Czeslaw Wierzbicki realizes adults aren’t always reliable and often know less than they pretend to know. A valuable lesson, and Hafeli shows a boy learning it in his wise, witty and quirky novel.

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: