Guest Post by Gail Vida Hamburg, author of Liberty Landing
On death and grief in her novel
If I weren’t a writer, I would be a grief and trauma counselor. Having lost several members of my family to premature deaths, I’m acutely sensitive to those who’ve been devastated by loss or trauma . By the time I buried my fourth loved one, I felt I’d earned a doctorate in loss, pain, and suffering. Each death, a sacred wound, inexorably silenced me, humbled me, remade me, and gradually transformed me.
Searching for relief from my suffering and for a life of meaning, I dove into religion, spirituality, philosophy, and books, hundreds of them, about grief, death, mortality, post-mortality, reincarnation, and the meaning of life. Ultimately, the thing that saved me, that healed me, was writing—first in journals, then articles and stories, and finally novels, plays, and screenplays.
The Japanese practice a ceramic art called Kintsugi or Kintsukuroi. Originating in the 15th century, it’s a technique of repairing cracked and broken lacquerware with gold, platinum, and silver. The philosophy of this art is that cracks and breakage should not be erased or disguised, but accentuated with precious metals to celebrate resilience and survival, and the beauty of brokenness. I feel like all who survive grief and trauma are like these vases. https://bit.ly/2ldXNSH
My writing has been shaped and informed by my biography, my narrative of survival. There are several characters in Liberty Landing who endure the deaths of their loved ones, or other kinds of trauma. They either try to erase their losses from memory, or rise above the bones and ashes of their dead, or strive to engrave the essence of their lost loves in their souls. The Buddhists of Bhutan believe that in order to understand happiness and live a happy life, one must contemplate death at least five times a day. In Liberty Landing, a contemporary novel about the American Experience, I include some characters who have been to the farthest reaches of sorrow.
ABOUT THE BOOK
Book Title: Liberty Landing by Gail Vida Hamburg
Category: Adut Fiction, 344 pages
Genre: Literary Fiction
Publisher: Mirare Press
Release date: March 2018
Tour dates: July 2 to 20, 2018
Content Rating: PG-13 + M (This book contains love scenes, one explicit love scene, and some profanity)
Liberty Landing -- a 2016 Finalist for the PEN/Bellwether Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction -- narrates the American Experience of the 21st century through the lives of a polycultural cast of natives, immigrants, and refugees in Azyl Park--a town in the Midwest.
After Angeline Lalande, a journalist and historian, unearths the real meaning of the name, "Azyl," conferred on the town in the 1800s by immigrant-hating politicians, the town elders begin the act of renaming it. During the course of the renaming, we meet the intriguing denizens of the town--survivors, strugglers, and strivers of every race and nationality, see the intersection of their lives, and the ways they find home, heaven, and haven in each other. We learn about the singular journeys that brought them to Azyl Park--a place that both transforms them and is transformed by them.
The larger story of the American Experiment is told through the personal story of Alexander Hamilton, the essential immigrant among the Founding Fathers, as Angeline writes a book about him. By the end of the novel, after Azyl Park is renamed, each of the characters has lost or found something essential.
Liberty Landing is about the personal and the political, family and loss, memory and migration, finding new love and a new home, and about history and the American Experiment. Seminal moments of the American Experience figure in this literary and historical fiction. Inspired by John Dos Passos' USA Trilogy about early 20th century Americans, Liberty Landing is a sweeping, lush, layered saga, set in a vibrant community, with a cast of Americans marked by neuroses, flaws, secrets, unspeakable pasts, humor, warmth, vulnerability, and humanity.
Liberty Landing is Gail Vida Hamburg's love letter to the American Experiment--the first in a trilogy.
To follow the tour, please visit Gail Vida Hamburg's page on iRead Book Tours.
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Meet the Author:
Gail Vida Hamburg is an award-winning American journalist, author, and museum storyist. She is the author of The Edge of the World (Mirare Press, 2007), a novel about the impact of American foreign policy on individual lives. A nominee for the 2008 James Fenimore Cooper Prize, it is a frequent text in undergraduate post- colonial studies, war studies, and creative writing programs. Born in Malaysia, she spent her teens and twenties in England before migrating to the United States. She holds a Master of Fine Arts in Literature and Creative Writing from Bennington Writers Seminars at Bennington College, Vermont. Liberty Landing, the first volume in her trilogy about the American Experience, is her love letter to the great American Experiment.
She lives in Chicago—the setting for Liberty Landing, a finalist for the 2016 PEN/Bellwether Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction.
Connect with the author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook
Enter the Giveaway!
Ends July 28, 2018