Tara Ison, ASU Professor of Fiction, visits with Rockaway, her third novel. Joining her is Valerie Bandura, ASU writing professor, who shares Freak Show, her first collection of poems.
It's 2001. Sarah, a painter from southern California, retreats to the eccentric beach town of Rockaway in the far reaches of Queens with the hopes of rediscovering her passion for painting. She hopes to escape a life caught in the stasis of caregiving for her elderly parents and a dead-end job at an art supply store. There she meets Marty, an older musician from a once-popular band. His strict adherence to his music and to his Jewish faith provoke unexpected feelings in Sarah and influence both her time there and her painting. In Rockaway
, Ison presents her time capsule love letter to a quirky, singular town, in a time before an entire community was brought to its knees by September 11th, and again, eleven years later, by Hurricane Sandy..
In Freak Show
, Bandura draws from the violence of history, Europe, family, motherhood, bodies, and fate, to present "a little of hell... and a ferocious desire for truth" (Tony Hoagland, author of What Narcissism Means to Me
). ABOUT THE AUTHORS
TARA ISON is the author of A Child Out of Alcatraz
, a Finalist for the LA Times
Book Prize, and The List
. Her short fiction and essays have been in Tin House
, The Kenyon Review
, Publishers Weekly
, and numerous anthologies. She is currently Assistant Professor of Fiction at Arizona State University and, in another life, co-wrote the cult film Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead
VALERIE BANDURA, born in the former Soviet Union, received degrees from Columbia University and the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College, where she served as the Joan Beebe Teaching Fellow. Her poems have appeared in Ploughshares, Prairie Schooner, Crazyhorse
, and the Best New Poets
anthology, among other publications. She teaches writing at Arizona State University.