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Debut novel delves deep in rainforest clash

For immediate release
Contact: Mary Bisbee-Beek
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The lush Amazon rainforests. A remote tribe. The steady encroachment of “civilization.” Against this backdrop, the all-too-human experiences of fear, love and loss become amplified with potentially disastrous consequences, in Nancy Burke’s debut novel Undergrowth (Gibson House Press, October 2017).

In 1960s Brazil, an indigenous group is on the brink of a tragedy, the dimensions of which they are only beginning to grasp. A small band of disaffected government agents, academics and visionaries is determined to fight for their cause. Among them is James who, along with his nephew Larry, travels to Pahquel, a village in the crosshairs of an environmental showdown. When James dies en route, Larry is left to decide: Should he attempt to escape his own personal demons by immersing himself in a completely foreign culture? Or retreat and resume his disaffected life in the U.S.?  What costs will he bear if he chooses to press forward?

In this luminous first novel, Nancy Burke gives voice to the complexities of social, anthropological and environmental forces. Melding poetry with touches of magical realism, here is a page-turner of an adventure story that rests upon deep and unsettling layers of undergrowth.

Award-winning anthropologist and human rights advocate, Terry Turner  called the book “a titanic feat of imagination . . . dramatically powerful.” Booklist’s review states: “This densely packed debut novel . . . demands that readers set aside their preconceptions about society and civilization and immerse themselves in the world of this small band of renegades, whose personal journeys are every bit as dark and dangerous as any voyage into Brazil’s wilderness.”

Nancy Burke is a writer, musician and psychoanalyst based in Evanston, Illinois. Her poetry has appeared in After Hours, The American Poetry Journal, Permafrost, and other literary magazines. Her work has been recognized with a Gradiva award, an Illinois Arts Council Artist Fellowship, an Illinois Arts Council Literary Award, an International Merit Award from the Atlanta Review, and a Fish prize. American Goodbye, Burke’s first recording of original songs, was released in 2014, and her second, The Valley, is due in 2018. She lives in Evanston, Illinois, with her husband, two children, and three cats. Undergrowth is her first novel.

Title: Undergrowth
Author: Nancy Burke
Publisher: Gibson House Press
Distributor: IPG
Pub Date: October 2017

Price: $18.95 US/$24.95 CAN
Binding: Trade Paperback
ISBN: 978-0-9861541-6-4
Category: Fiction/literary
Page Count: 440
Trim size: 6” x 9”

Publisher Contact: Deb Robertson
[email protected]

Gibson House Press, an independent press based in the Chicago area, publishes novels by musicians in the belief that songwriters and musicians of all kinds are uniquely connected to storytelling.