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Letting Go Hardcover – August 8, 2018

5.0 out of 5 stars 8 ratings

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In high school, Abe Aamidor won a prestigious national high school contest sponsored by novelist Norman Mailer when he was an Esquire columnist. Like most bright teenagers with a flair for writing, he had dreams of being a novelist. "One thing happened after another, and it never happened," said Aamidor, who graduated from the University of Chicago. "By the '70s, I started writing for the Reader, the alternative paper in Chicago, so I became a newspaper writer. I never wrote fiction, but I wanted to be a (literary) writer. So, in retirement I had to see if I could have done it," Aamidor said. When the Carmel resident retired from The Indianapolis Star in 2008, he wanted to see if he could have some level of success as a fiction writer. "In three years, I placed 11 or 12 short stories," Aamidor said. Aamidor's novel, "Letting Go," was released this month through The Permanent Press. It has been released on audiobook by Blackstone Publishing. "There are usually two types of books on war. One is very stridently anti-war, and we should never let it happen again. There is a moral point being made. The others are action-types, a John Wayne-kind of thing. It's gung-ho, heroism or survival. I wanted something a little different, neither strident or gung-ho. There is no violence. I wanted it to be about ordinary people." The story is about a high school graduate named Bertrand Bogdanovich, who decided to enlist in the military after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks but gets involved in shady activities after he's in the army and dies mysteriously in Afghanistan. His father, Dwight, a blue collar-worker in the train yard in Beech Grove, tries to find out what happens. The story is told from Dwight's perspective.   Mark Ambrogi, Current in Carmel

Abe Aamidor's words have a near photographic quality in development of place and detailed, interactive, characters. "Letting Go" is a portrait of Dwight Bogdanovic's family as it changes over time. Significant challenges leave disturbing memories not easily forgotten. Bogdanovic's challenge is to move on with his life after setbacks that readers may recognize in their own lives. Those who have lived in Indianapolis will recognize significant places and times, but the themes are universal. Aamidor's fiction moves the reader to reflect on life and meaning. James W. Brown, Ph.D., Professor and Executive Associate Dean Emeritus, Indiana University School of Journalism

How do you measure a life? Is it simply the sum of events, relationships, decisions? Will it finish too late or too soon, like a book badly written? And who will value the life? In the first chapter of Abe Aamidor's Letting Go, a bereaved father quotes a friend of Bertrand Russell saying, "Your life matters because you did live it." But his son Bertrand has died in Afghanistan. Will the father's life still matter? Reading like a gorgeously written memoir, Letting Go retells the son's life together with father's and grandfather's, through snapshots of people from different worlds, drawn together in America's melting pot, sent to fight for great causes, and coming home again. Except the father sold encyclopedias and the son didn't come home. Convincing first-person narration brings to life, and vividly contrasts, teenage days of cycling and the present-day voice of an old man viewing his "fitness goal." The "black blooming smell of soil after heavy rain," is contrasted with city streets where "buildings have... personalities," the regrets of the past with a desire to matter in the present, and the certainties of official voices with the nuanced nature of relationships. Birds are evicted from their trees, tribes from their land, and a man from the life he thought he'd built for himself. Small actions have large consequences, in life and in this novel, like concrete filling the space between wooden blocks to keep an old building standing, or memories tucked in the cracks of a sacred wall. Meanwhile a man, not yet so old, seeks a way forward that's not so tied after all to the past. Only then can he truly look back and value those memories for what they are, proof that "life is for the living." -- Sheila Deeth, Sheila's Reviews

The narrator of Abe Aamidor's new novel Letting Go, Dwight Bogdanovic, is deeply nostalgic in his recollections of the '50s. But he is smart enough to know that being romantic about the past will just lead him in circles. At points in the novel, you wonder if Dwight will have the sense to move on with his life or else just get swallowed in the eddies of his past. And this narrative tension, in part, is why the novel is so engaging. Letting Go is also a quick read because of the author's keen observational skills, which he brings to bear--with both affection and dry humor--on the city of Indianapolis, which might be unfamiliar literary territory for most. But this meditation on fathers and sons, on loss, and on the passage of time, should feel familiar to its readers because Dwight Bogdanovic is an authentic literary creation who reflects the struggles that we all have at some point in our lives. Dan Grossman, Arts Editor, NUVO Newsweekly (Indianapolis)

About the Author

ABE AAMIDOR'S short fiction has appeared in The Gettysburg Review, The South Carolina Review, Chicago Quarterly Review, Prick of the Spindle, The Arkansas Review, Broad River Review, Vermont Literary Review, The Worcester Review and elsewhere. His biography, "Chuck Taylor, All Star: The True Story of the Man behind the Most Famous Athletic Shoe in History," is published by Indiana University Press.

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Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Permanent Press (August 8, 2018)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 192 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 157962538X
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1579625382
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 11.8 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 6 x 0.75 x 9 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    5.0 out of 5 stars 8 ratings

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Abraham S. &quot;Abe&quot; Aamidor is a former daily newspaper reporter, including at the St. Louis Globe-Democrat and The Indianapolis Star. He's the author of several books, including &quot;Chuck Taylor, All Star: The True Story of the Man Behind the Most Famous Athletic Shoe in History&quot; (Indiana University Press, 2006, 2017), &quot;Shooting Star: The Rise and Fall of the British Motorcycle Industry&quot; (ECW Press, 2009); co-author of &quot;Media Smackdown: Deconstructing the News and the Future of Journalism&quot; (Peter Lang Publishing, 2013); and co-author with Ted Evanoff of &quot;At the Crossroads: Middle America's Battle to Save the Car Industry&quot; (ECW Press, February 2010). His novel, &quot;Letting Go,&quot; about a father who loses his son in the war in Afghanistan, will be published by The Permanent Press in 2018. He has contributed a chapter on media coverage of the 2016 presidential campaign to &quot;The 2016 American Presidential Campaign and the News: Implications for American Democracy and the Republic&quot; (Lexington Studies in Political Communication), edited by Jim A. Kuypers of Virginia Tech. He's also the author of short stories published in The Gettysburg Review, The Arkansas Review, Chicago Quarterly Review, The South Carolina Review, and elsewhere. He's a University of Chicago graduate (AB, Philosophy, 1969) and was born in Memphis, but grew up in Chicago from age 7.

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