Thursday, January 15, 2015

Surya Kalsi's "The Stove-Junker" (Little Feather Books)

The cover of the book...

"In the winter of 2012, 79-year-old Somerset Garden travels back to his ancestral home in idyllic Drums, Pennsylvania, to renovate his dilapidated house. Burdened by the loss of his beloved wife, angry at God and at himself, Somerset hopes to reach a final understanding of the meaning of his life.

While a blizzard barrels down from the north and "Armageddon" draws closer, Somerset discovers an unnamed boy squatting on the property, a strange boy who forces him to confront his past. Unearthing objects in the house, Somerset remembers his father's cruelty and the accident that cost him his brother's life; his youth's itinerant wandering, tethered to his mother after a fire that blazed the woods; his artistic wife and their rebellious son—all of whom are caught in the grip of Luzerne County's ancient history of violence. 

Part elegy, part history, part existential ghost tale, The Stove Junker is a harrowing, lyrical meditation on loss, heartbreak, and the power of memory."

The trailer for the book...

I genuinely love getting to hype new books by former classmates/current friends, like my friend Courtney Moreno's book "In Case of Emergency" (which you can find HERE) or in the coming months when my friend Lauren Saft has her first book hitting shelves later this year.

But I've got a soft spot for my dude Surya. We met the first day of grad school. We bonded in that awkward first day of school talk; what we were into, who we read, what we write, etc. Mutual loves of highly stylized writing and the entire school of philosophical thought through the years made us instant homeboys. Despite this, it took us three months before we figured out that we lived only two blocks from each other in San Francisco. After that, we were damn near inseparable.

Late nights of Italian dinners and drunkenly browsing the shelves at City Lights Books just before midnight. Saturday afternoon writing sessions fueled on coffee and cigarettes. Wednesday nights across from campus, drinking Johnny Walker and discussing the critiques we'd just gotten from our peers in workshop. I was the best man at his wedding to a fantastic woman and a pseudo-uncle to their first child together. I am stoked for this latest accomplishment.

He sent out a letter to let everyone know about the forthcoming book. You'll find it below, along with links to find it for purchase, and other important ephemera. He also blogs at Headers, Margins, and Footnotes.

Surya K. Kalsi

"Dear Friends and Acquaintances,

I wanted to share some exciting news with you! My first novel The Stove-Junker is being released in April from Little Feather Books, Inc. Needless to say my wife and I are so excited. The book started out as my MFA thesis and grew out of all my hard work at USF.

The novel is being likened to Cormac McCarthy and Paul Harding, so I cannot complain. However, it makes me nervous just thinking about it.

I hope you will visit my website at and browse around, learn a little about the book, peruse some images (photography mine) of the book’s setting, and leave me a message with your thoughts.

I also encourage you to visit my Facebook page HERE, view the book trailer(s), and LIKE me.

Please see the attached image, representing the final artwork for the novel. I hope you will read it when it is released and, good or bad, let me know what you think.

Thank you for your support, and all my best to you and yours,

SK Kalsi"