On November’s First Friday celebration we will host Youngstown author William Soldan for a book talk and signing. His collection of short stories, In Just the Right Light, came out in March of 2019. We are discussing it in our October 10th book club.
About the author:
William R. Soldan grew up in and around Youngstown, Ohio, with brief stints in Columbus; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; and the hills of southern Oregon. When he was seventeen, he dropped out of high school at the suggestion of his guidance counselor and worked a long string of jobs including factory machinist, dishwasher, house painter, maintenance man, day laborer, and bartender. After traveling around and living out of a van for a while, he eventually went to college and earned a BA in Literature from Youngstown State University and an MFA from the Northeast Ohio Master of Fine Arts program. Nominated for a Pushcart Prize multiple times, his work has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies. He currently resides in Youngstown with his wife and two children.
About the book:
Rust Belt, USA, where steel is dead, hope is scarce, and hardship is a way of life. Miles Junction is but one of many Northeastern Ohio towns long forgotten and left behind, its residents living on the cusp of financial, emotional, even spiritual destitution. An old trapper becomes the scapegoat for a boy’s brutal murder. An out-of-work diesel mechanic resorts to crime in order to provide for his wife and son. A teenage girl braves a brutal winter storm to protect a tragic secret. A recovering drug addict wrestles with temptation and bears the weight of an uncertain future. These and the other working-class characters that populate this collection know struggle intimately and understand that desperate times often call for desperate measures. Their lives are linked by a ruined yet starkly beautiful post-industrial landscape–a desolate vestige of our fractured American dream. Taking place during the last few decades of the twentieth century and those following the new millennium, In Just the Right Light is a glimpse at one region’s bleak inheritance and the precarious lives of those who remain to rummage through the fallout of its past.