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Lawrence Kessenich–Cinnamon Girl

About the Book:

It’s 1969, the summer of Woodstock. After nearly getting his head bashed in a demonstration on Milwaukee’s East Side, John Meyer crashes down a hillside with fellow student Tony Russo. It looks like the beginning of a beautiful friendship. Then John meets Tony’s wife, Claire, and their young son, Jonah, and things get complicated, especially when they and another student rent a house together. Meanwhile, John is at odds with his parents and with a society that supports the war in Vietnam.

Then comes a national student strike and the shooting deaths of four students at Kent State. Over Claire’s protests, John becomes involved in the strike in Milwaukee. Tony’s brother being wounded in Vietnam brings the war right into their crowded, complicated living room. Can John, Claire, Tony, and baby Jonah forge a new kind of family for a new age, or will the weight of the world pull them all down?

About the Author:

Lawrence Kessenich is a fiction writer, poet, playwright, essayist, reviewer, and editor. He has published a number of short stories and won the 2010 Strokestown International Poetry Prize. He has three books of poetry: Strange News, Before Whose Glory, and Age of Wonders. He has also published essays, one of which was featured on NPR’s This I Believe, and appears in the anthology This I Believe: On Love. His short plays have been produced in New York, Boston, and Colorado, where he won the People’s Choice Award in a national drama competition. Kessenich is the co-managing editor of Ibbbetson Street literary magazine. Cinnamon Girl is his first novel.