Postcards from the Canyon
2018 Bronze Medal Winner - Independent Publishers Awards (IPPY)
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Joanna Jacobs, a Brooklyn writer, is coming apart at the seams. Her mother has just died due to a medical error. The woman she loves is shacking up with her best friend. Her publisher has decided not to publish her latest novel. Clamorous undocumented immigrants have "taken over" her building. A crew of juvenile delinquents is demanding to use her apartment as a clubhouse. And a hysterical phone call to a talk show has pissed off the FBI.
Joanna is trying to regain control of her life by writing a book about growing up in Cleveland in the 1960's. But instead of restoring her equilibrium, re-experiencing the 1960's disorients her even further. She grew up during a time when gay and nonwhite people were marginalized, jailed, and murdered, the country was being torn apart by the Vietnam War, public leaders were being assassinated, rioters and protesters filled the streets, and at the same time Bob Dylan and the Beatles were blowing the lid off popular music, pot and acid were altering the consciousness of millions, and love and peace were still spoken of without cynicism. How do you re-experience your youth in this distant world and then go back to facing the stresses of growing older in a country that has lost its hope?
After fifty years, most of Joanna's fellow boomers have grown up and settled down and left their rebellion behind. But not Joanna. She's still out there kicking up a fuss as her life just keeps getting crazier, even by New York City standards. Joanna has plenty of strength to keep going, but life in 21st Century America isn't easy for anyone, especially when you're fighting furiously against the current and can't accept that eventually, one day, the current is going to win.