Pre-Publication Author Talk
Thursday, August 29
Books & Company
Please join us in welcoming author Henry Hitz to Books & Company to discuss his new novel Squirrels in the Wall, set on a Wisconsin Lake. Squirrels in the Wall will be released on October 20, 2019. Pre-order your copy today!
Squirrels in the Wall--a novel told in stories by a collection of interspecies voices--presents a unique and darkly hilarious blend of human and animal perspectives in a single setting on a Wisconsin lake. The stories provide a kaleidoscope of heartbreak among both human and animal characters as they confront abuse and death. "They call me Herziger, but my real name is Woof," one of the stories opens. "They call me a dachshund, but in reality, I am just a dog. I live with my mother among a pack of wild humans in a big house on a lake." In the second story, "Squirrels in the Wall," Herzie's "human," Barney Blatz, experiences a fire in that house when he is just four. The stories follow Barney from infancy to death, tracing the epic, ongoing conflict between him and Father--a bumbling tyrant guilty of shocking abuse but also capable of poignant redemption. On this rollicking journey, we meet a suicidal toad, a cat, two mice, a bee, Grandfather's ghost, and a turtle who possesses Barney in a climactic tale of environmental activism gone awry. Other stories reflect the points of view of Barney's mother, sister, and older brother; together, they construct a collage of spectacular family dysfunction--and of healing love.
Henry Hitz taught preschool for thirty years. He divides his time between Oakland, California–where he lives with his wife, son, two sisters, two dogs, and a cat–and San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, where he first observed how the boat-tailed grackles and local teenagers all gather at the central jardín at sunset for precisely the same reason. He has published stories in Cube Literary Magazine, Magnolia Review, Scarlet Leaf Review, and Moonfish. His first novel, Tales of Monkeyman, won the Walter Van Tilburg Clark Prize. His novel White Knight was published in January 2016 by Wordrunner Press and reissued last year for the fortieth anniversary of Jonestown. He blogs at HenryHitz.com