Peter Nathaniel Malae in conversation with Alan Soldofsky
Sunday, November 11, 2018, 5:00 p.m., City Lights Booksellers, 261 Columbus Avenue, San Francisco
celebrating the release of
Son of Amity
by Peter Nathaniel Malae - published by Oregon State University Press
Three lives on the verge of ruin intersect in the small Oregon town of Amity: Pika, a half-Samoan ex-con from California, seeks to deliver justice to his sister's rapist; Michael, a five-tour Iraq War Marine, faces the cracked mirror of his own embattled soul; and Sissy, a recent convert to Catholicism, must resist the lure of ruthless self-judgment and discover what love is.
Determined to escape the past, these characters find themselves sharing the same torn-down house, bordering tweaker poverty and bucolic wine country. Violence and penance, family and legacy, recidivism and post-traumatic stress disorder linger with the heavy rain of desperation. At the center of this storm is five-year old Benji, whose wide-eyed energy and openhearted faith could show all of them how to still be saved.
In this unforgettable tale, award-winning author Peter Nathaniel Malae explores the depths of human pain and trauma with cultural authority. Son of Amity is a novel whose voices cry out with truth and vulnerability, never betraying that slight tilt toward hope needed to make the long, hard trek to tomorrow.
Peter Nathaniel Malae is the author of the novels, Our Frail Blood and What We Are; the story collection, Teach the Free Man; and the play, "The Question." A former Steinbeck, MacDowell, Arts Council Silicon Valley, and Oregon Literary Arts Fellow, Malae lives in western Oregon.
Alan Soldofsky is the author of the poetry colleciton, In the Buddha Factory, from Truman State University Press. He is also co-editor with poet David Koehn of Compendium: A Collection of Thoughts on Prosody by Donald Justice. In addition he has published three chapbooks of poems: Kenora Station, Staying Home, and most recently a chapbook that includes a selection of poems by his son, the poet Adam Soldofsky, Holding Adam / My Father's Books. His poems, articles, essays, interviews, and book reviews have appeared widely in periodicals including The Antioch Review, The Crab Orchard Review, The Georgia Review, The Gettysburg Review, The Greensboro Review, Grand Street, The Michigan Quarterly Review, The Nation, The North American Review, Poetry East. Chelsea, Narrative, Poetry Flash, Quarry West, and The Writer's Chronicle. He is a professor of English and Creative Writing at San Jose State University where he directs the MFA Program in Creative Writing.
"From the farthest, wettest corner of war-damaged America, Peter Nathaniel Malae brings us the story of a family bound by a shared history of violence, and liberated by the miracle of shared mercy. Written with immense intellect and swagger, Son of Amity imbues the street-level realities ofour times — in our cities, towns, prisons, and psyches — with the power of myth." — Jon Raymond, author of Freebird and The Half-Life