MFA Alumni Top Kirkus Reviews "Best Indie Books of 2019" List

MFA Alumni Top Kirkus Reviews "Best Indie Books of 2019" List

Running Wild Press founder Lisa Kastner, MFA’12 has produced two books selected for the prestigious list, including a memoir by fellow Fairfield alumnus Reuben Hayslett, MFA'12.

We started the press because we read too many great stories that never found a readership...The book marketplace is growing and expanding, because publishers like Running Wild Press are wisely filling a void.

— Lisa Kastner, MFA ’12, founder and executive editor of Running Wild Press

Running Wild Press, a small indie publisher founded by executive editor and Fairfield University MFA in Creative Writing alumna Lisa Kastner, MFA’12, is garnering national recognition for producing two powerful memoirs that have been selected for the Kirkus Reviews Best Indie Books of 2019” list. 

One of the two book-of-the-year selections is Frontal Matter: Glue Gone Wild by Suzanne Samples, a moving memoir about the author’s struggle to live with terminal brain cancer at age 36. The other is the debut novel Dark Corners by fellow Fairfield MFA alumnus Reuben Hayslett, MFA’12, a series of explosive essays and narratives, written with unsettling illumination, that touch upon racism, LGBTQ, and the human condition in present day America.

“We started the press because we read too many great stories that never found a readership and wanted to create a platform,” Kastner said. “The book marketplace is growing and expanding, because publishers like Running Wild Press are wisely filling a void. We target unusual tales that the public craves but mainstream publishing won’t pick up because the story is not neatly defined.”

In just four years, Kastner’s press has published nearly two dozen titles, several of which have been nominated for Pushcart Prizes, PEN Awards, and the National Book Award, and have been included in gift bags for presenters and nominees at both the Screen Actor’s Guild Awards and the Grammy Awards.

About his book, Dark Corners, fellow Fairfield MFA alumnus Hayslett said, “The book centers on queer people of color as protagonists, in ways often not seen in mainstream media.” He described the genre as "intersectional fiction, meaning politics, political identity, race, and sexual orientation are interwoven within these stories, often in surprising, woke ways. It is meant to be reflective of the maddening times we live in, especially for a range of minorities who struggle to make their way in nation a torn by politics.”

Hailed for its fresh and inventive writing and lyrical prose, Hayslett’s book-of-the-year selection was praised by Kirkus Reviews as “a gripping collection of yarns in which social disadvantages take on monstrous shapes.” To read the full review, or learn more about the Kirkus Reviews "Best Indie Books of 2019" list, visit www.kirkusreviews.com.

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Last modified: 01-09-20 12:00 AM

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