Michael Barsa has worked as an award-winning grant writer, an English teacher, and an environmental lawyer. He's teaches environmental and natural resources law. His scholarly articles have appeared in several major law reviews, and his writing on environmental policy has appeared in The Chicago Tribune and The Chicago Sun-Times. His short fiction has appeared in Sequoia.
On Thursday, April 26th at 6 PM, we are delighted to welcome him to The Book Stall to read from and sign copies of "The Garden of Blue Roses," his debut novel
A car lies at the bottom of an icy ravine. Slumped over the steering wheel, dead, is the most critically acclaimed horror writer of his time. Was it an accident? His son Milo doesn't care. For the first time in his life, he's free. No more nightmarish readings, spooky animal rites, or moonlit visions of his father in the woods with a notebook and vampire make-up.
Or so he thinks.
Milo settles into a quiet routine--constructing model Greek warships and at last building a relationship with his sister Klara, who's home after a failed marriage and brief career as an English teacher. Then Klara hires a gardener to breathe new life into their overgrown estate. There's something odd about him--something eerily reminiscent of their father's most violent villain. Or is Milo imagining things? He's not sure. That all changes the day the gardener discovers something startling in the woods. Suddenly Milo is fighting for his life, forced to confront the power of fictional identity as he uncovers the shocking truth about his own dysfunctional family--and the supposed accident that claimed his parents' lives.
"Ominous, fantastic, and wonderfully malevolent.... I felt the spirits of Shirley Jackson, Edgar Allan Poe, and Albert Camus' Meursault, whispering to join the fun."-- Alice Sebold, best-selling and award-winning author of The Lovely Bones
"[T]his rich neo-gothic novel...captures us with an eerie power exactly like Henry James' governess and the stressed-out, dreamy extremists of Poe. Milo, the son, the brother, the watcher, the spy, had my sleeve fiercely in his fist the whole way." -- Ron Carlson, award-winning author of Five Skies
This event is free and open to the public. We ask that you buy a copy of "The Garden of Blue Roses" from The Book Stall if you intend on entering the book-signing queue.