At times, small press publication poses problems (oh dear, four ps in a row) for writers. Many factors can contribute to excellent work not being available - distribution, short print runs, even wrong listings of titles, viz. our book, Virtual Teams, which was originally listed on Barnes & Noble's site as Visual Dreams (I still want to write that one).
Thus, creative writers fall back on their native muscle to allow readers access to their work. Pamela Erens is among them. Her award-winning first novel, The Understory, is now available for download - free (click the link). But, but...don't let me dissuade you from attempting to buy it here.
Like so many fine writers, I met Pamela through Zoetrope.com and thus became aware of her distinctions: The Understory won the Ironweed Press Fiction Prize and was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for First Fiction and the William Saroyan International Prize for Writing.
But don't just take it from me. Here's what the Chicago Tribune says about the book: "an elegant, understated study of physical and psychic dislocations...artfully detailed and beautifully rendered."
Or Small Spiral Notebook which said: "Jack Gorse, the bookish, obsessive protagonist of Pamela Erens' debut novel, is part of a long line of literary wanderers. Like Binx Bolling, from Walker Percy's The Moviegoer, Jack is an astute observer, a metaphysician of the ordinary, but a faltering amateur at living the life he so skillfully dissects.... The Understory is a worthy Northern counterpart to Percy's metaphysical exploration, and a reminder that originality and depth can be found in a fiction's language, not just in the breadth of the experience it represents...Not your typical debut.... The soul of this novel is its meditative lyricism, rendered in language that is as exquisite as it is penetrating."
Stunning, brave writer. Congrats on your ingenuity, Pamela, and your fine work.