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Mandy Clarke
Indiana University Press

Last modified: Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Indiana University Press debuts Midwestern series with two books

Aug. 3, 2011

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University Press this week launched its Break Away Books series with the release of two new books, The Glimpse Traveler by Marianne Boruch and The Swan by Jim Cohee.

Focusing on fiction, memoirs, creative nonfiction and poetry, the series places characters and/or action in the Midwest yet has a universal reach that transcends the region. The books connect the reader to the region via childhood memories, the land itself, defining moments in one's life, historical subjects or events.

The series is edited by Susan Neville and Michael Martone. Neville is a native Hoosier and professor of English and creative writing at Butler University, whose books include Iconography: A Writer's Meditation (IUP, 2003), Sailing the Inland Sea (IUP, 2007), and Butler's Big Dance: The Team, The Tournament, and Basketball Fever (IUP, 2010). Martone is professor of English at the University of Alabama-Tuscaloosa, the author of Double-wide (IUP, 2007), Not Normal, Illinois (IUP, 2009), seven works of fiction and one collection of fiction, and the editor of six volumes.

In The Glimpse Traveler, a young Midwestern woman joins a pair of hitchhikers and embarks on a cross-country journey to California, exploring the concepts of memory, knowledge, beauty and realization. This true story, set in 1971, recounts a fateful, nine-day trip into the American counterculture that begins on a whim and quickly becomes a mission to unravel a tragic mystery. Neither a memoir about private misery nor an expose of life in a turbulent era, The Glimpse Traveler describes with wry humor and deep feeling what it was like to witness a peculiar and impossibly rich time.

Boruch is professor of English at Purdue University. She has published several poetry collections and two books of essays, and her work has appeared in the New Yorker, the Nation and elsewhere. She has won two Pushcart Prizes, the Parnassus Terrence DePres Award and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation.

Set in Indianapolis in 1957, The Swan is a fictional memoir detailing a young boy's journey through personal tragedy and what he learns along the way about enduring love and the weighty nature of mortality. Ten-year-old Aaron Cooper has witnessed the death of his younger sister, and the trauma has left him unwilling to speak. Aaron copes with life's challenges by disappearing into his own imagination. The tales he constructs for himself, the real-life stories he is witness to, and his mother's desperate efforts to bring her son back from the brink all come to a head at an emotional family dinner.

Cohee is a freelance writer based in San Francisco. He has written for Lonely Planet guides and is a retired book editor at Sierra Club Books. This is his first novel.

For review copies to request interviews, please contact Mandy Clarke, Indiana University Press, at