From approximately 2,000 books, 72 were nominated as finalists, and 6 were named winners.
When I moved to Chicago in 2017, after decades away, I hung out in the 3rd Coast Café, as I used to, and as Lucy Pilgrim does in the novel. I moved into an apartment in the building, did a reading of the novel in the café, and wrote a great deal of the second novel, Lucy, come home., there. One Sunday afternoon, a beautiful lively art student, Carina Clark Reimers, flashed in and sat down next to me on her break from working as a hostess at a nearby restaurant. “So, I remind you of you twenty years ago?” she asked after we chatted a while. I thought, sure, let’s say twenty. She reminded me most of all of Lucy. We enjoyed each other’s company during our time in Chicago (she graduated from The Art Institute and is back in her hometown of Los Angeles). One winter evening when she stopped in the Coast, and saw me playing with drawings and cover ideas, she asked if she could help. A few weeks and idea exchanges later, we created this wonderful cover.
Inspired by Jhumpa Lahiri’s The Clothing of Books and French book covers, it was a delight to bring letters, drawing, writing, and design together. Here’s to 3rd Coast Café, Lucy, Carina, me, and Ingram Spark Printers–most immediately–there are so many people I am grateful for who were involved in the creation of this novel. Thank you to Eric Hoffer and the work others carry on for him to celebrate independent authors and publishers. And thank you to you, Readers, so very much.
Carina and I at Sparrow on Elm Street, Chicago, late summer 2017