Friday, April 29, 2016

Friday Freebie: Relief Map by Rosalie Knecht and Montauk by Max Frisch

Congratulations to Bart Zimmer, winner of last week’s Friday Freebie contest: True Stories at the Smoky View by Jill McCroskey Coupe.

This week, I have a nice pair of new releases from our friends at Tin House Books to put in one lucky reader’s hands: Relief Map by Rosalie Knecht and Montauk by Max Frisch. Read on for more details about the books...

In Relief Map, a small town is swept up in a manhunt for a fugitive from foreign soil and a teenage girl struggles to make the right choices with little information and less time. In the heat of a stifling summer in her sixteenth year, Livy Marko spends her days in the rust-belt town of Lomath, Pennsylvania, babysitting, hanging out with her best friend, Nelson, and waiting for a bigger life to begin. These simple routines are disrupted when the electricity is cut off and the bridges are closed by a horde of police and FBI agents. A fugitive from the Republic of Georgia, on the run from an extradition order, has taken refuge in nearby hills and no one is able to leave or enter Lomath until he is found.As the police fail to find the wanted man and hours stretch into days, the town of Lomath begins to buckle under the strain. Like Russian dolls, each hostage seems to be harboring a captive of their own. Even Livy’s parents may have something to conceal, and Livy must learn that the source of danger is not always what it appears.Rosalie Knecht’s wise and suspenseful debut evokes the classics while conjuring the contemporary paranoia of the post-terrorist age. Relief Map doesn’t loosen its grip until the consequences of this catastrophic summer, and the ways in which a quiet girl’s fate can be rerouted and forever changed, are made fully apparent.

Montauk, translated by Geoffrey Skelton and introduction by Jonathan Dee, is Max Frisch's candid story of his affair with a young woman illuminates a lifetime of relationships. Montauk was first published in the mid-1970s and has been out of print until now. Casting himself as both subject and observer, Frisch reflects on his marriages, children, friendships, and careers; a holiday weekend in Long Island is a trigger to recount and question events and aspects of his own life, along with creeping fears of mortality. He paints a bittersweet portrait that is sometimes painful and sometimes humorous, but always affecting. Emotionally raw and formally innovative, Frisch’s novel collapses the distinction between art and life, but leaves the reader with a richer understanding of both. Michael Silverblatt of KCRW’s Bookworm has this to say about Montauk: “In this spectacular melancholic novel Max Frisch perfects the art of understatement. His casual itemization of betrayals and losses is, at first, dry and brilliantly done. Slowly, statements like he was a friend of ours, turn into bitter accusations and Montauk, the autobiography of a brief vacation becomes a quiet and hugely subtle rendering of love’s terrible disappointments.”

If you’d like a chance at winning both Relief Map and Montauk, simply email your name and mailing address to

Put FRIDAY FREEBIE in the e-mail subject line. Please include your mailing address in the body of the e-mail. One entry per person, please. Despite its name, the Friday Freebie runs all week long and remains open to entries until midnight on May 5, at which time I’ll draw the winning names. I’ll announce the lucky readers on May 6. If you’d like to join the mailing list for the once-a-week newsletter, simply add the words “Sign me up for the newsletter” in the body of your email. Your email address and other personal information will never be sold or given to a third party (except in those instances where the publisher requires a mailing address for sending Friday Freebie winners copies of the book).

Want to double your odds of winning? Get an extra entry in the contest by posting a link to this webpage on your blog, your Facebook wall or by tweeting it on Twitter. Once you’ve done any of those things, send me an additional e-mail saying “I’ve shared” and I’ll put your name in the hat twice.

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