miami university

Catalogue

Temper CA

Novella

Paul Skenazy

January 2019. ISBN 978-1-881163-62-6

Winner of the 2018 Novella Prize

Order a copy! $15.00


Joy Temper grew up wandering the woods of Temper, CA, a Gold Rush town her family helped establish in the 1840s. Upon returning to her childhood home for her grandfather’s funeral, she discovers that the stories she's long traded on about her hippie upbringing have little to do with reality. Her struggles to face who she once was, and what she now desires, force her to confront family secrets and long-suppressed memories in a novella both familial and romantic, contemporary and historical.



Reviews & Such

Paul Skenazy's fiction misbehaves. It swerves, it revisits ground and digs deeper, it confounds expectations. He has the gift of creating characters who are sympathetic not in spite of their prickliness but because of it, and of depicting human bonds that are all the tenser for being so strong."
—Jonathan Franzen, author of Freedom and Purity

This elegant and unforgettable novella pulls us into the secrets and desires of Joy Temper, a woman carrying the weight of her family and a fair share of California history on her shoulders. Skenazy reminds us that our deepest wounds often make us most receptive and alive.
—Elizabeth McKenzie, author of The Portable Veblen

This is a beautiful and fascinating book, a skillfully constructed and dramatic story about hatred and profound affection within a difficult family. It s a mystery tale about redefining a childhood and rediscovering many aspects of love. I was moved deeply throughout, and consider Temper CA a small, truly insightful and courageous masterpiece.
—John Nichols, author of The Milagro Beanfield War

About the Author

Paul Skenazy grew up in Chicago, studied at the University of Chicago and Stanford, and taught at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He has published essays, stories, and reviews in a range of newspapers and magazines, as well as critical work on James M. Cain and other noir writers. He lives in Santa Cruz with the poet Farnaz Fatemi.