Readings by Shelly Brivic & Barbara Barrow

Please join us for a reading and discussion
with two great authors from two of our favorite local presses:

Shelly Brivic, author of STEALING: A NOVEL IN DREAMS (Frayed Edge Press)
Barbara Barrow, author of THE QUELLING (Lanternfish Press)


Two brothers growing up in the 1950s Bronx navigate a toxic home environment headed by an emotionally abusive father and an unhappy mother. One brother eventually finds escape through academic achievement and a new life on the west coast, while the other brother remains entangled in the darkness of his existence, his life and mind slowly unraveling. By presenting the conscious and unconscious connections between family members, this experimental novel explores the concept of individuality, the psychological influences of family, and the very nature of reality.

“With the logic of dream and memory, voice runs along with voice to tell a set of interbraiding tales of brothers and cities in a time everyone will recognize some of, wherein the moments before waking, before sleeping are evoked with wonderfully clean prose...”
—Samuel R. Delany, author of Dhalgren and the Return to Nevèrÿon series


Addie and Dorian have always been together: the two sisters have spent most of their lives in a locked ward after being diagnosed with a rare psychiatric condition and accused of murder as children. Now on the cusp of adulthood, Addie plans to start a new family to replace the one she lost, while Dorian struggles with her own violent tendencies to help raise her sister's child. But Dr. Lark, the supervisor of their ward, sees these patients as the key to his revolutionary Cure. As his "treatments" become increasingly bizarre, Addie and Dorian are increasingly unsafe, and a ward nurse may be their only lifeline.

“Complex and strange, The Quelling is a marvel of a debut. With an eye toward the Victorian madhouse and an American Gothicism reminiscent of Shirley Jackson, Barrow paints the sisters Dorian and Addie with tenderness and keen psychological intuition. Their voices, like the animal documentaries that play constantly in the background of their lives, remark frankly on the brutality of their experiences and yet capture an unfailing sense of wonder.”
—Jen Julian, author of Earthly Delights and Other Apocalypses

About the authors

 is an internationally recognized James Joyce scholar and is recently retired from his position as full professor in the English Department at Temple University. He has written extensively on Joyce and other modernists from the perspective of Lacanian psychology. His most recent scholarly work is Revolutionary Damnation: Badiou and Irish Fiction from Joyce to Enright, published by Syracuse University Press in 2017. Stealing: A Novel in Dreams is his first novel.

BARBARA BARROW is a fiction writer and literary critic who adores all things feminist, fabulist, and surreal. Her short fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in The Forge Literary Magazine, Cease, Cows, Folio, Zahir, NANO Fiction, and elsewhere, and her journal articles have appeared in Victorian Poetry, Journal of Victorian Culture, Victorian Periodicals Review, and Nineteenth-Century Contexts. She is Assistant Professor of English at Point Park University in Pittsburgh.

Event date: 
Friday, March 15, 2019 - 6:00pm to 7:30pm
Event address: 
Penn Book Center
130 S. 34th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Stealing: A Novel in Dreams Cover Image
ISBN: 9781642510034
Availability: Available to Ship
Published: Frayed Edge Press - November 20th, 2018

The Quelling Cover Image
ISBN: 9781941360187
Availability: Available to Ship
Published: Lanternfish Press LLC - September 25th, 2018