In her introduction to this issue, guest editor Deena Drewis, founder of Nouvella, says Derek Palacio's "How to Shake the Other Man" is a benchmark for the publisher. "It’s the first title we’ve pulled out of the slush as opposed to us seeking out authors we’ve come across in other publications," she writes.
"The novella follows Javier, a Dominican prostitute who is taken in by Marcel, a boisterous Cuban-American entrepreneur with a legion of street coffee vendors. What develops between them is fast and fraught. Anxious to get Javier to stay put, Marcel enlists his brother Oscar, a boxing trainer, to start training Javi. But when Marcel is murdered on the street one day, and Javi and Oscar are bereft of the man that united them, they are forced to assess what they owe one and other and how they will face the void that awaits them. "There is little lightheartedness in this novella; it is violent and unrelenting. This story is going to be off-putting to some people. Perhaps many people. But it’s one of the most affecting stories I’ve read; it bruises you, burdens you with these variations of love that are cut short and left with no place to go." About Recommended Reading: Great authors inspire us. But what about the stories that inspire them? Recommended Reading, the latest project from Electric Literature, publishes one story every week, each chosen by a great author or editor. In this age of distraction, we uncover writing that's worth slowing down and spending some time with. And in doing so, we help give great writers, literary magazines, and independent presses the recognition (and readership) they deserve. About the author: Derek Palacio was born in Evanston, IL, in 1982 but grew up in Greenland, NH. He holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the Ohio State University. His work has appeared in Puerto del Sol and The Kenyon Review, and his story “Sugarcane,” was selected for inclusion in The O. Henry Prize Stories 2013. He is the co-director, with Claire Vaye Watkins, of the Mojave School, a non-profit creative writing workshop for teenagers in rural Nevada. Currently, he lives and teaches in Lewisburg, PA, where he is completing a novel about a small Cuban family struggling to remain whole after fleeing the island as part of the 1980 Mariel Boatlift. He is also working on a collection of short stories relating to Cuba’s past, present and future. About the Guest Editor: Nouvella is an independent publisher dedicated to novellas by emerging authors. Established in 2011, Nouvella utilizes the LAUNCH program, wherein the reading community can invest in the career of an emerging author by purchasing a “share” during the week of the release. For every share purchased, the patron receives a limited edition, hand-signed copy of the novella, a thank-you note from the author, and an e-book version. Nouvella authors are selected via cold submission as well as sought out by the editorial staff, which scouts for writers in a wide range of publications. Previous authors have gone on to sell books to Riverhead and Little, Brown; have been featured as the Amazon Best Books of December Debut Spotlight; and have been awarded the National Jewish Book Award for Outstanding Debut Fiction.