Congratulations to Andrew Beck, winner of last week's Friday Freebie: The Girl Who Fell from the Sky by Heidi W. Durrow.
This week's book giveaway is doubly-good, thanks to newly-launched independent press Engine Books. They've generously donated two books by Debra Monroe, the novel Shambles and the memoir On the Outskirts of Normal, to one lucky winner. While both books are by the same author, they are quite different in tone. As Monroe mentioned to me in an email, "(Shambles) is a dark book--it's about a kind of poverty I've personally never known, and the attendant violence and straitened options....But the next book (On the Outskirts of Normal) is very different, finally. It's not only a memoir, but it is quite simply more tender. It's about learning to love my daughter, and how terrifying love feels, because once you love someone deeply you have more to lose."
I've read the opening pages of both books and I can testify that, as diverse as they are, Shambles and On the Outskirts of Normal are written in a no-frills, clear-as-gin style which gets right to the heart of the matter in just a few sentences. I can't wait until my reading calendar clears enough space so I can sit down and enjoy both of Monroe's books. In the meantime, you have the opportunity to get the jump on me by entering the Friday Freebie. Here are the jacket-copy descriptions from the publisher's website:
On the Outskirts of Normal
First Comes Love)
I should also mention that Engine Books is offering a special reduced price on Monroe's books (as well as pre-orders for Patricia Henley's Other Heartbreaks) through the end of July: $12 for each book, plus free shipping. So, if you don't win the Friday Freebie, I urge you to visit Engine Books and support this new, blossoming press with a couple of mouse clicks.
If you'd like the chance to win a copy of both Shambles and On the Outskirts of Normal, all you have to do is answer this question:
Which of Monroe's books won the prestigious Flannery O'Connor for Short Fiction in 1990? (The answer can be found at Monroe's website)
Email your answer to firstname.lastname@example.org
Put FRIDAY FREEBIE in the e-mail subject line. One entry per person, please. Please e-mail me the answer, rather than posting it in the comments section. Despite its name, the Friday Freebie runs all week long and remains open to entries until midnight on July 14--at which time I'll draw the winning name. I'll announce the lucky reader on July 15.