Each day leading up to the April 17 announcement of the 22nd Annual Minnesota Book Awards, we highlight one of the thirty-two finalists. Today, we feature
Novel & Short Story Finalist,
The Annunciations of Hank Meyerson, Mama’s Boy and Scholar
HOODED FRIAR PRESS
An excerpt from The Annunciations of Hank Meyerson, Mama’s Boy and Scholar:
On Sunday morning I woke to rain. Thank the Lord, too, for there is little more depressing about a Sunday morning than waking up to midday sunshine flooding the mayhem of your life. Little ATM slips and credit card receipts in the cubby of a bedroom shelving unit, socks, coins, stacks of paper, books unread, files unfilled-somehow a rainy day lets you off the hook. – Hank Meyerson
Traversing from Minneapolis to Montana, to the fateful shallows of the St. Croix River, Hank’s story waltzes toward tragedy with dazzling wit, affecting insight, and raw ruminations on everything from duck jokes and the toy industry to art, atonement, and great human frailty.
Scott Muskin has an MFA from the University of Minnesota and has published short stories in several magazines and journals including Minnesota Monthly, Beloit Fiction Journal, and Clackamas Literary Review. He was a finalist for the 2005 Flannery O’Connor Award for his collection of short stories. The Annunciations of Hank Meyerson won The Parthenon Prize for Fiction. Muskin has also judged several writing competitions and teaches a monthly creative writing class for individuals struggling with mental illness. He lives in Minneapolis and makes a living as a freelance advertising copywriter.
“Smart, witty, and lively writing. The dialogue is both funny and credible. The use of humor stands in contrast to the loneliness and suffering endured by the characters in this novel, and in the end makes the story all the more poignant.” – Minnesota Book Awards Judge
“This picaresque novel is a joy to read. Strong, believable characters run the gamut of emotions from sheer happiness to utter depression. Surprisingly, Muskin pulls off a tragic ending that leaves you with a smile.” – Minnesota Book Awards Judge
Extremely well written book that holds its “attitude” throughout, without making us sick of it…Outstanding dialogue with well-placed narration and reflection by the first person narrator, Hank, who struggles through his post-mother’s-death to find his own way. The book is in four parts, each well-designed and crafted. The arc of the story has a natural progression that does not rush to the conclusion and yet doesn’t dally either… Tongue in cheek humor and self-deprecation are the means to make readers stay with this sad character. We see him for more than the rest of the world sees him and we are pulling for him, even though we must suffer the fact that while he is a sad sack, he is also his own worst enemy…” – Minnesota Book Awards Judge
Award winners will be announced at the 22nd Annual Minnesota Book Awards Gala on Saturday, April 17, at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, in downtown Saint Paul. The opening reception begins at 6:30 p.m.; followed by the awards ceremony at 8 p.m. Tickets are $40 and are available by clicking here or calling 651-222-3242.
Have you read The Annunciations of Hank Meyerson? What are your thoughts? We welcome your comments!