By JJ McNiece
UCA Department of Writing

CONWAY — Mark Spitzer, associate professor of Creative Writing at the University of Central Arkansas, editor-in-chief of the Toad Suck Review and Central Arkansas’s unrivaled water-monster chronicler, will debut his 22nd book, Garapaima: A Monster Fish Novel, at the Faulkner County Library at 7 p.m. on Oct. 13.

The book is published by Moon Willow Press of Canada. Spitzer will read from selected passages, and a book signing will follow.

Spitzer’s recent publications in creative nonfiction include Return of the Garand Season of the Gar. But in Garapaima, “Spitzer proves himself to be king of the fish novel,” said John Vanderslice, author of Island Fog. Garapaimafeatures “a heartbroken illusionist, a magical Native American songstress, a burly shape-shifting poet-professor, a stoner security guard techno hero, a hair-dyed tween up on every LGBT issue, [and] an all-knowing talking turtle. Not to mention a 154-year-old monster catfish.”

JoeAnn Hart, author of Float, said that in Garapaima, “Spitzer combines the existential struggles of The Old Man and the Sea with the eco-consciousness of The Monkey Wrench Gang and the youthful energy of The Hunger Games.”

Scott Ezell, author of A Far Corner, said Garapaima “is humorous and engaging, and exudes the charm of life-as-play while not disregarding the deeper concerns of contemporary life.”

The Faulkner County Library is located at 1900 West Tyler St. in Conway. This event is free and open to the public. Some language may not be appropriate for children. Discount copies of Garapaima will be available for purchase, with a free copy of the non-required prequel, Bottom Feeder, with every purchase. For more information, contact Nancy Allen at nancy@fcl.org or (501) 327-7482.

The UCA College of Fine Arts and Communication includes the Departments of Art, Communication, Mass Communication and Theatre, Music and Writing. The college’s primary mission is the preparation of the next generation of artists, educators and communicators. For more information about CFAC, visitwww.uca.edu/cfac or call (501) 450-3293.

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