Over the years I’ve enjoyed reading Stanford Pritchard’s rich collection of novels and books–his life’s work. I ask you to treat yourself to a Pritchard novel–put it right on the top of your reading stack–and forward this email to your friends and acquaintances. You’ll find the stories full of wit, satire, and Pritchard’s philosophical touch. I promise you won’t regret it. (And if you do, you won’t be out an arm and a leg.) Click the link by the cover to go to Amazon, or buy from www.alibris.com, www.b&n.com, or other online bookstores.
BENNY’S MISSION is part Candide, part Forrest Gump, part Huckleberry Finn. Join Benny Wise on his lifetime odyssey as radical political organizer, revolutionary, longshoreman, cabdriver, fish-packer, blood donor, get-rich-quick artist, fighter pilot, speechwriter, warmonger, reporter, city council member, and mayoral candidate. Follow him as he stirs old people into angry purpose and a belief in eternal life on earth, all the while probing the injustices of our human existence. A satire of the moral, political, and social philosophies of our age, with meat and humor for us all–perhaps for those who liked the satire in Cologne No. 10 For Men!–RM
RESTAURANT captures the life of a small, very special seacoast tourist town (there is an uncanny resemblance to Provincetown, Massachusetts) as it progesses through one of its zany, laughter-and-tragedy-filled summer seasons. We meet commercial fishermen, town politicians, firefighters, rescue squad personnel, cooks, bartenders, musicians, and a host of other colorful characters.
TERMINAL VIBRATO: stories that are raucously funny, witty, illuminating, touching, or compelling. A novella about a down-and-out fighter who has one-way philosophical conversations with a comatose body lying beside him in a hospital room…a bus ride past the famed Tishmani Gorge…a holy man blessing gods that allow his airplane to fly…incompetent cops…a rapidly spreading pandemic of people crying for no reason…the astonishing reversal of a promising relationship…a world without books…an interviewer who knows more about the interviewee than the interviewee does…and a pianist yearning to play a flawless solo in a symphony orchestra performance. . . Enjoy! –RM
THREE SEXES IN SEARCH OF THE CREDDLEBONES lampoons the historical research establishment with stories about people searching for the creddlebones; the demise of ancient walled cities (which people have replaced with walls around themselves); Calligraphes, the little-known Roman philosopher, and his scheme to rename the stars and rearrange and rename the constellations; Renaissance television, which was snuffed out because it was hypnotizing people and becoming a religion ; a graduate student facing a one-month deadline for finishing her doctoral thesis on the creddlebones–who decides that the creddlebones are irrevocably lost; Thomas Peters, who lapses into silence and is praised by critics for his book with no print; and Rob and Marianne, who discover why “three” sexes have driven them apart, and what, exactly, the creddlebones are. An eccentric novel that made me laugh uncontrollably. –RM
HOUSE OF TRAVELS: These are stories, in the line of my TERMINAL VIBRATO, and meditations on life’s various pastimes and concerns: about 15 of each. The stories are, by turns, funny and sad, and spring from subjects as various as snowflakes, day lilies, mosquitoes, war planning, and the melancholy of characters excluded from world fiction. The meditations range from the meaning of Kafka’s asceticism to the love between a mother and son to preparations for the appearance of Elijah. –SP
In THE THRIFT SHOP MURDERS, Selwyn McCandless, a successful stockbroker, attends an elegant dinner party hosted by millionaire Fairfield Dixon, who is murdered at the affair . Soon after the killing, Selwyn and the other party-goers receive a letter stating that clues leading to portions of Dixon’s vast fortune are hidden at local thrift shops. You’ll meet Selwyn’s son Marvin, a homeless law school dropout; Brad, a philosopher-builder; Mrs. Friddle, a kindly thrift shop manager; two Kafkaesque detectives, and others. You decide whodunit. –RM
In SYMPHONY, we hear the voices of: a pedestrian forcing drivers to stop at crosswalks… a man obsessed with greeting strangers…another manically driven to relaxing…a man obsessed with sex, or the lack thereof…a woman who leaves her entire life history on an answering machine, message by message…a hiker who hitches to talk and is picked up by a trucker who talks only in CB slang…a woman tormented by responses to her physical beauty…a man dancing to tango music, alone, at night…another who writes fortune-cookie prophecies, but uses them to get back at the world…and many more—poignant, thoughtful, or riotously funny. –RM
Let’s get serious now. This is NON-FICTION, a priceless tool for improving your writing. Throw away Stunk and White (it’s way out of date), and pick up Pritchard’s William Strunk, Jr., THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE: UPDATED AND ANNOTATED FOR PRESENT-DAY USE. This is “an augmentation and explication of William Strunk, Jr.’s classic text, with a new Foreword, and new sections on spelling and proper usage. It was published in 2011.” I use it and recommend it. –RM
Pritchard earned a B.A. in philosophy from Haverford College, and studied at the University of Chicago on a Rockefeller Fellowship. He has worked as a freelance writer in Chicago, then worked or wrote for The New York Review of Books, Cavalier, and The New York Free Press. He taught at the Breadloaf Young Writers Conference, and his work (which has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and received an Honorable Mention from the Vermont Council on the Arts) has appeared in the Kenyon, New England, and Wisconsin Reviews, The International Philosophical Quarterly, Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy, Tango News, and elsewhere.
In addition to his five novels, a novella, and two collections of short stories, he has published two collections of poetry; as a playwright he has had nine productions of his plays in New York City.
(more at www.stanfordpritchard.com).