June 6 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Portland’s new chill-n-chat literary hotspot, the Rose City Book Pub, will host Unsolicited Press authors, John Biscello and Frances Badalamenti, who will be reading from their respective novels: Nocturne Variations and I Don’t Blame You. Books will be available for purchase, and the evening will also include a special musical performance by Elite Beat.
NOCTURNE VARIATIONS: Dystopic Peter Pan meets surrealist noir in this cinemythical tale about love, loss and the illusions of shadow-play.
Los Angeles, December, 1989, is when we first meet seventeen-year-old Piers, runaway, savant puppeteer, spiritual love-child of Holden Caulfield and Edie Sedgwick. Addicted to Sike, an experimental drug which promises a surrogate return to Childhood, Piers, in an act of revenge, robs a briefcase full of Sike from her dealer and flees L.A., pursued by two hit men. Hiding out in a stark Southwestern town called Redline, where she meets and is taken in by a man named Henry Hook, Piers is soon confronted by the buried trauma of her past and the ghosts risen from old haunts.
Comprising a jigsaw synthesis of narrative, journal entries, letters, monologues, screenplay, poems, photographs, and press clippings, Nocturne renders an interior world of fragments and parallels, and casts a tinted light on that neverland between dreaming and waking.
JOHN BISCELLO: Originally from Brooklyn, NY, author, poet, performer, and playwright, John Biscello, has called Taos, New Mexico home since 2001. He is the author of three novels: Broken Land, Raking the Dust, and Nocturne Variations; a collection of stories, Freeze Tag; and a poetry collection, Arclight.
I DON’T BLAME YOU: I Don’t Blame You is a young woman’s journey of losing her mother a mere two months before becoming a mother. It follows Ana through a year of going between her home in Portland and her mother’s home base in New Jersey as she battled cancer and as Ana grew a baby. The narrative begins with backstory around her mother’s early life being raised by a single mother in poverty in a Bronx tenement apartment and also her father’s early years in depression-era Brooklyn, both raised in challenging circumstances by Italian immigrants. It takes the reader through their bitter divorce after raising three children and after twenty-five years of marriage, which left Ana’s mother to raise her alone, the youngest of four kids by ten years, as a not very capable and mentally unwell single mother. The story continues through her hardscrabble childhood and adolescence and then pushes forward towards the year of her mother’s illness and Ana’s pregnancy. The narrative takes the reader through her mother’s death and quite soon after, a last minute decision to give birth at home, after which her mother and son became the two ships that passed in the night.
FRANCES BADALAMENTI: Frances was born and raised in Queens, New York and Suburban Jersey, but now lives in Portland, Ore. with her husband and son. Her memoir, I Don’t Blame You, about losing her mother and becoming a mother, is forthcoming from Unsolicited Press. You can find her personal essays and stories at Mutha Magazine, Hip Mama, Longreads and Vol1Brooklyn. She is currently working on her second novel.