Dodging and Burning
by John Copenhaver
Pub Date 06 Mar 2018
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A Note From the Publisher
LibraryReads nominations due 1/20 and IndieNext nominations due by 1/3.
“A photograph of a dead girl prompts some savvy amateur detective work in post-World War II Virginia, but Dodging and Burning ultimately explores deeper mysteries as well: about who we are, who we want to be, and how the bonds of friendship—and of betrayal—can tie people together forever. Copenhaver’s first novel also focuses on storytelling, on the stories we tell others, and ourselves, to survive, all of it brilliantly interwoven, with twists mounting even in the final pages. A superior debut—suspenseful, substantial.” - Art Taylor, Agatha Award–winning author of On The Road with Del & Louise
“Set in 1945, Dodging and Burning is a striking and important debut illuminating the twin traumas of war and repressed sexual identity. A beautifully rendered literary mystery centered around a missing girl and a WWIII photographer’s journey toward adulthood and self-acceptance, the novel keeps you guessing until the very end.” - Aline Ohanesian, author of 'Orhan’s Inheritance'
“Dodging and Burning is a beautifully rendered coming of age story, a compelling exploration of a young man’s struggle with his sexual identity amid the evils of war, and an impeccably executed crime novel that keeps you guessing and ultimately strikes a deep and resounding emotional cord.” - Ayelet Waldman, author of 'Love & Treasure' and 'A Really Good Day'
“The level of detail in [Copenhaver’s] novel Dodging and Burning displays in full measure the demanding research required to uncover the hidden history of a community marginalized and rendered virtually invisible for much of the 20th century.” - Katherine V. Forrest, author of The Kate Delafield Mystery Series.
“John Copenhaver's bold mystery confronts the consequences of love and war with unflinching candor. The characters may twist themselves up in lies, but the writing never does, offering a piercing glimpse into small town taboos. This novel flirts with and ultimately subverts the expectations of pulp fiction to create something wholly original—David Lynch meets Harper Lee while she's having drinks with Truman Capote. Nothing is as expected in this America of the 1940s when men were expected to be men and women were expected to be wives. Dodging and Burning is a memorable, brilliant debut.” - Erica Wright, author of 'The Red Chameleon' and 'The Granite Moth'
“I'm a big fan of John Copenhaver's elegant work. He's a sophisticated stylist who can break your heart right before he turns devilish. Highly recommended.” - Luis Alberto Urrea, author of 'Into the Beautiful North' and 'The Water Museum'
“An astonishing piece of writing, Dodging and Burning is a lyrical, compelling, and deeply moving book. A highly original and accomplished novel from a significant talent, it captures its period with elegance and simplicity, and a deftness of touch that brings a tear to the eye. The characters are deeply human in their weaknesses, their loves, and the unfolding tragedy of their lives. It is a book of depth and beauty, surely a classic, to be read and re-read. John Copenhaver is a master storyteller, a confident and gifted writer and this, his first novel, is a clever, brilliant, beautiful work. I cannot praise it enough.” - E. S. Thomson, author of 'Beloved Poison' and 'Dark Asylum'