• Hardcover: 176 pages
• Publisher: The Permanent Press (April 28, 2012)
In the tree-nestled Northern California town of Mira Flores, writer Rachel (“an aging typist with an unprofitable hobby” and her Scottish husband Neil prepare dinner for a familiar “crew” of guests – among them Neil’s best friend, the burly, handomse Mike Spender, an irrepressible hedonist – and Mike’s wife, the troubling Tilda Krall, a hard-bitten figure who carries her dark unknowability like an accusation.
Mike and Tilda have produced an enchanting daughter, Addie – who will also appear, unexpectedly, that night. As they ready the meal, Rae begs Neil to retell her the strange, twisted story of the Spenders – to include Mike’s secret life, and what happened once Tilda learned of it. Neil and Rae cannot guess how the shock waves from that story will threaten to destroy their own marriage – after a mysterious catastrophe propels all five individuals into uncharted realities.
Recounting three love stories, Make It Stay explores the vision of an era – and how perception expands, as mortal limits draw near.
“This novel ponders the mystery of personality, mining our own bewilderment with the actions of friends and lovers. I couldn’t put it down. — Alice Elliott Dark, author of Think of England and In the Gloaming
“A genuine wonder of a book—a deeply moving reflection on the nature of friendship and love, how past informs present, life’s magnificent interconnectivity. . . Recognition unfolds into something resembling transformation . . . nothing less than astonishing.” — Matthew Iribarne, author of Astronauts and Other Stories
Joan Frank was born to New Yorkers in Phoenix, Arizona, and grew up in Sacramento, Hawaii, and the San Francisco Bay Area. She is the author of four books of fiction—a fifth, her new novel Make It Stay, will be published by The Permanent Press in April. A book of collected essays, Because You Have To: A Writing Life, will be published by the University of Notre Dame Press in Fall of 2012.
Her recent story collection, In Envy Country, won the ForeWord Reviews Book of the Year award and the Richard Sullivan Prize in Short Fiction; it was also named a finalist for the California Book Award.
Joan is a MacDowell Colony Fellow, winner of the Dana Literary Award, Michigan Literary Fiction Award, Emrys Fiction Award and Iowa Writing Award; a Pushcart Prize nominee, two-time nominee for the Northern California Book Award in Fiction, San Francisco Library Literary Laureate, and recipient of grants from the Ludwig Vogelstein Foundation, Barbara Deming Memorial Fund, and Sonoma Arts Council. She has taught creative writing at San Francisco State University and continues to teach and edit in private consultation. (If you have interest in working with Joan, please contact her through her website.) She lives in Northern California with her husband, playwright and English teacher Bob Duxbury.
Joan’s Tour Stops
Tuesday, May 1st: The Lost Entwife
Wednesday, May 2nd: Bookstack
Thursday, May 3rd: The Book Bag
Monday, May 7th: Book Addiction
Tuesday, May 8th: Why Girls Are Weird
Tuesday, May 15th: The House of the Seven Tails
Wednesday, May 16th: BookNAround
Thursday, May 17th: Veronica MD
Friday, May 18th: An Unconventional Librarian
Wednesday, May 23rd: Reading on a Rainy Day
Thursday, May 24th: Caribousmom
Sunday, May 27th: “That’s Swell!”