Weekend Getaway: Craig Gidney

It’s been far too long since I last did a Weekend Getaway. This week I want to bring attention to Craig Gidney. I’ve known of Craig for a while, but I’ve only ever spoken to him briefly. Recently, Steve Berman of Lethe Press posted about Craig on his blog.

Lethe Press is publishing a short story collection, Sea, Swallow Me, from Craig in the next month or so. Craig is in need of some costly medication and is currently without health insurance. So Steve is doing something quite unexpected. To quote from Steve:

Rather than just a royalty, I’d like to off[er] a pre-pub sale that would give [Craig] the entire amount. Yes, I won’t even keep my costs and, since 10% of my profits were to be donated to the Carl Brandon Society, if you purchase a copy of the book before publication, I’ll still make that pledge. So, $13 goes to Craig and $1.30 goes to Carl Brandon. Books will be sent out via media mail at my cost.

This is quite extraordinary. I wanted to read the book and review it here when I told people about it, but my schedule has prevented me from finishing it. I’ve read nearly the entire volume, and I’m quite impressed with his voice.

Gidney’s stories often center around being African American and being gay, which is a fascinating viewpoint and part of why I like to read: because I get a chance to experience other lifestyles and racial backgrounds. The author, who is gay and black himself, creates vibrant and real characters that I identify with and care about. There is a lyrical mysticism in much of the writing that made me want to read the stories out loud.

Here are two stories that are online for you to sample (both of which are in the collection):

Magpie Sisters

Sea, Swallow Me

If you like the stories, consider ordering a copy of the book and helping out a writer in need. If you do, ordering information is on Steve’s blog linked to above, or quoted below:

I’d prefer payment be sent via check, but you could Paypal it if necessary to lethepress AT aol DOT com. The price is only $13 per book.

Lethe Press
118 Heritage Ave
Maple Shade, NJ 08052

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