12 Winters Blog

Men of Winter fully released, and a little Kerouac

Posted in December 2010 by Ted Morrissey on December 12, 2010

Men of Winter is fully released, meaning that all three versions — paperback, ebook, and Kindle — are available from Punkin House Press at punkinbooks.com. I haven’t seen the finished paperbacks yet, but I trust they’re on their way. As I discussed in a previous post, Punkin House Press is experimenting with different approaches to green publishing, described on PHP’s blog page. The fact that Men of Winter is available in Kindle is important, I think, as it encourages a wider readership. I saw a video blog in which the blogger was from Australia and she was saying that she’s become a much more voracious reader of new fiction thanks to ereading, as Kindle versions of books are much cheaper “downunder” than even paperback releases. In short, she simply couldn’t afford to buy a lot of print books. My Punkin House blog, Pathfinding, is on Blogger, which lets you see where people are who’ve looked at your post, and while I haven’t had a lot of traffic, period, yet, I have had people checking in from places like Russia, Croatia, Singapore, Italy, and of course the UK and Canada. So if folks abroad are going to buy Men of Winter, it’s more likely they’ll buy the Kindle or ebook versions.

Last Wednesday, the Poetry Collective at the University of Illinois at Springfield hosted a screening of the documentary What Happened to Kerouac? (1986), which I enjoyed very much (even though it was pretty late after teaching all day, and night). For a time I was a Kerouac fanatic, beginning with my reading of On the Road (1957) when I was in my mid thirties. I went on to read several, though not all, of Kerouac’s books. Probably, after On the Road, my next favorite is Tristessa (1960). The film uses footage from The Steve Allen Show in 1959 when Kerouac read from On the Road to Allen’s jazz accompaniment on the piano; in a word, it’s moving. The clip is available on YouTube, of course:

For Kerouac fans, or students of American literature, especially mid-twentieth-century, the film is well worth seeing, as it has extensive interview clips and rare footage from other Beat Generation notables like Allen Ginsburg, Gregory Corso, William S. Burroughs, Neal Cassady, and Beat scholar and biographer Ann Charters.

On the reading front, I continue to read and enjoy Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina — it’s a wintry morning here, and ideal for a cup of coffee and Tolstoy (though I’m in a springtime section of the novel — drats the timing). On the one hand, I enjoy Tolstoy’s description of the simple and happy peasants, who get such great joy from working the land; but I know that for the peasants themselves, toiling away on the land chiefly for the benefit of the owner was hard, hard work and probably joyful less often than Tolstoy’s book would lead one to believe. Nevertheless, the complexity of the novel, in terms of the diverse range of issues Tolstoy works into the narrative, is astounding.

I continue to work on my novel in progress, the Authoress, and will perhaps have a little surge of additional progress over winter break.


Men of Winter

Punkin House Books

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