Mysterious Galaxy is delighted to be hosting Thisbe Nissen and Jay Baron Nicorvo as they tour for the release of Thisbe’s newest book, Our Lady of the Prairie. Midwestern theater professor and mother Phillipa Maakestad’s life is thrown into disarray after a semester teaching in Ohio. Coming home after having a torrid affair, she has to deal with her daughter’s wedding, mother-in-law, and docile husband as her life falls apart. The Chicago Review of Books describes it as “wonderfully witty...a satirical take on the serene Midwestern life and an insightful, comical look at a woman whose life starts to unravel at breakneck speed.”
We will also be featuring Jay’s book, The Standard Grand -- a violent plot set over the course of a year about a scheming multinational company trying to take over a halfway house for homeless veterans for an unknown purpose.
Thisbe’s other works include the novels Osprey Island and The Good People of New York, in addition to short stories and nonfiction articles for Vogue and Glamour magazines. She has also been extensively involved in several university programs, including the University of Iowa, Tulane University, Columbia, Brandeis University, and Western Michigan University. Jay’s work has been featured in Salon, The Iowa Review, The Believer, and NPR. They both live on an old farm in Michigan with their two cats, chickens, and son.
In the space of a few torrid months on the Iowa prairie, Phillipa Maakestad--long-married theater professor and mother of an unstable daughter--grapples with a life turned upside down. After falling headlong into a passionate affair during a semester spent teaching in Ohio, Phillipa returns home to Iowa for her daughter Ginny's wedding. There, Phillipa must endure (among other things) a wedding-day tornado, a menace of a mother-in-law who may or may not have been a Nazi collaborator, and the tragicomic revenge fantasies of her heretofore docile husband.
Naturally, she does what any newly liberated woman would do: she takes a match to her life on the prairie and then steps back to survey the wreckage.
Set in the seething political climate of a contentious election, Thisbe Nissen's new novel is sexy, smart, and razor-sharp--a freight train barreling through the heart of the land and the land of the heart.
When an Army trucker goes AWOL before her third deployment, she ends up sleeping in Central Park. There, she meets a Vietnam vet and widower who inherited a tumbledown Borscht Belt resort. Converted into a halfway house for homeless veterans, the Standard--and its two thousand acres over the Marcellus Shale Formation--is coveted by a Houston-based multinational company--toward what end, only a corporate executive knows. With three violent acts at its center--a mauling, a shooting, a mysterious death decades in the past--and set largely in the Catskills, [this book] spans an epic year in the lives of its diverse cast.
As summer begins on Osprey Island, preparations at the Lodge -- the island's one and only hotel -- are underway for the busy season. On maintenance and housekeeping there's Lance and Lorna Squire, Osprey locals and raging drinkers; and their irrepressible son Squee. There are college boys to wait tables and Irish girls to clean rooms. And a few unusual returnees, too: Suzy Chizek, single mom and daughter of the Lodge's owners, who's looking for a parentally funded vacation; and Roddy Jacobs, another former local, who has come back after a mysterious twenty-year absence. But when tragedy strikes, dark secrets explode, dividing the island community over the fate of a young boy suddenly more vulnerable to his violent father than ever. In the uniquely ephemeral atmosphere of a summer resort, Thisbe Nissen unfolds, with charecteristic warmth and charm, an ever-deepening story of lost loves and found romance, of loyalties and betrayals; and of lingering-sometimes fleeting-joy.
Poems that offer a compassionate yet relentless portrait of Deadbeat--an absent father and husband--and the family that goes on without him.
When Roz Rosenzweig meets Edwin Anderson fumbling for keys on the stoop of a Manhattan walk-up, the last thing on her mind is falling for a polite Nebraskan yet fall for him she does. So begins Thisbe Nissen s breathtaking debut novel, a decidedly urban fairy tale that follows Roz and Edwin as they move from improbable courtship to marriage to the birth of daughter Miranda the locus of all Roz s attention, anxiety, and often smothering affection.
As Miranda comes of age and begins to chafe against the intensity of her mother s neurotic love, Roz must do her best to let those she cherishes move into the world without her. On crowded subways, in strange bedrooms, at Bar Mitzvahs, in brownstone basements and high school gymnasiums, Nissen s unforgettable characters make their hilarious and wrenching way and prove, indeed, that good things thrive in New York City.