To celebrate the second anniversary of the publication of the novella, When I Return To You, I Will Be Unfed, we’ve decided to do a giveaway here at the blog.
To “win” a copy is simple. Take a look at the excerpt of the book below or on Goodreads. If it interests you and you are willing to write a short review (positive or not!) on the Goodreads website or elsewhere, drop your contact info at the bottom of the page and we’ll ship a copy to the first 25 people. That simple.
When I Return To You, I Will Be Unfed is a poignant, gritty exploration of mental illness and one man’s search for safe haven. Bowen’s unflinching prose grips the reader and doesn’t let go until the final, perfect beat of narrative. This book may be short in length, but it will remain with the reader long after it ends.
~James Claffey, author of Blood a Cold Blue
Christopher Bowen wrings more meaning from a sentence than most writers do from whole stories. This richly complex story brings Bowen’s linguistic skills to bear on psychology and personal trauma, crafting a narrative both deeply emotional and intellectual. Every line bears layered meaning, playing on the narrator’s complicated view of himself and his world. In this way, Bowen has managed to write a story that feels like a novel.
~Sam Snoek-Brown, author of Box Cutters and the forthcoming Where There Is Ruin
She moves over me, takes control, and submits. I kiss her mouth, the opening like a cave-heart. My heart is empty. She is with me when she reaches the island. Cold winter coming, her hair like twigs and bare branches.
We’re in the upstairs of her mom’s barn, once a work garage for carpentry, automobiles, practicing love. There are artist and photography books stored here from the seventies when her mother took up painting. I wish I could see the boat to shore, drag it through the seaweed and sand. Old lamps light the way on how to practice making love even though it’s daylight. It’s time that separates us and time that forgets our humanity. We stand in repose. She sees the clouds now, I can tell. I see them, too. I kiss her forehead with something in her eyes staring back at me—the eye of a storm, the trouble and the dark. It’s so dark here. It’s so cold. Her eyes reflect the world of what is left in the past when falling out of love.
Storms haunt me.
I paddle the rowboat away from the island and do not look back. I look forward. I do not wave for lack of a spare hand. I row in panicked resolve, shoulder over shoulder, each stroke looking down with a brow of sweat and tears filling the boat for the light left behind me. The missive, it is Christa.
It begins to rain, drops bombarding the barn’s tin roof. We are at war. We are at fault and without faith. It is civil. It’s the last stand in a series of stands. I look down under my breath saying goodbye the way I say to Dr. Newman, to Gary, to my voice somewhere on a sunbeam. There is no light there.