As some of you might recall, the tenth anniversary authorized print edition of my novel, A Listening Thing, will be published later this summer. I’m pleased to say that the text is now in place, and the cover is almost done. No blurbs were solicited, but there’s a tiny bit of room on the back cover for this excerpt from a note sent by a reader of the online edition1 back in 2009:
All night, into the morning and here it is one o’clock
in the afternoon and I’m still sitting here in my underwear,
bleary eyed in quiet awe of this book.
The rest of the note, which ends ......thank you so much for the book.......best I’ve read in years....... is included for the record with full credit in the front matter, as well as other “specimens” that will throw light on the novel’s long and harrowing journey into print.
I’ll be mentioning the book again before its official release. For now, I’m at liberty to say that for a limited time prior to that2, readers and friends will be able to buy copies directly from the publisher at a generous discount. After the release, the price will necessarily go up to a more profitable level — although, in my opinion, it will be worth as much, if not more, than what some sellers were asking online3 for the generic review copies of the edition that was left high and dry by its almost-publisher lo those many years ago. The salient details of that story, too, are included in the book, along with a new preface and afterword, and an extensive new interview.
An authoritative edition, the new examined-and-corrected version of A Listening Thing will officially replace all previous editions.
A Listening Thing is a novel by a poet who, at the time it was written, had penned little poetry. It’s also a poem by a writer who, at the time it was written, hadn’t a novel to his name4. Some think it’s the best thing I’ve written. My hope is that the best is yet to come. Either way, I believe in the book deeply and implicitly, and will stand behind it all the days of my life. Its message really is that important.
1 Published in 2003, the online edition is no longer available.
2 To be announced.
3 In some cases, hundreds of dollars.
4 A second novel, The Smiling Eyes of Children, is now waiting in the wings.