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Understanding Franklin Thompson!

Press Release


JEF Books announces new novel by Jim Meirose!

AURORA, IL—February 4, 2019—JEF Books announces the publication of Understanding Franklin Thompson, the brilliant new novel by widely published and popular literary innovator Jim Meirose!

Middle-aged bachelor Franklin Thompson and his widowed Mother Audrey live together in a quiet small town. But their lives are periodically marred by the repeated attacks of a horrid mental disorder which they share. These attacks strike without warning and drive them apart into separate realities, in which they are made to believe that they will never see each other again. Panic-stricken, they fight the attacks tooth and nail to return to the world where they are again together. They repeat the behaviors which have delivered them from prior attacks. Audrey begins obsessively praying for help to the denizens of a mystically chaotic parallel world which she only is aware of during her delusion. Franklin abandons the apartment and storms frantically through town, pleading to all he encounters to help him find his mother. Along the way he endures the mockery, scorn, and general cruelty of the townspeople. They tolerate his presence, viewing him as a somewhat humorous, harmless town character, albeit incurably and pitifully insane. This novel documents their experience in enduring one such attack.

To read only one of Jim Meirose’s novels is to miss out on the scope and depth of his surreal vision. But Understanding Franklin Thompson is a great place to start. Meirose takes a spare, foundational myth of our culture and populates it with people as desperate as the protagonist in the original story. He shows the concerns and flaws of humanity unchanged over 2,000 years, and yet demonstrates how they have been amplified and distorted to the detriment of our civilization. When you try to understand Franklin Thompson, you will have to comprehend the struggle that is everyday life for your neighbors as well as your enemies. And you will never think about so many things—Chinese food, working for a living, the cop on the beat, the lessons of object permanence in adults and children—the same way again.
—Jane Rosenberg LaForge, author of An Unsuitable Princess and The Hawkman: A Fairy Tale of the Great War

Jim Meirose is a writer of distinctive voice and vision. In Understanding Franklin Thompson he dissects the Christian ethic through lives peeking out of their personal shells into a dark fractured crystal to a chaotic reality. As they are overwhelmed by their personal issues, they try to connect multiple points of view, only to find a deeper descent into confusion. A unique, thought provoking work.
—Richard S. Bailey, author of Off on a Tangent and Tiresias Lies: The Insidious Plot of the Men with No Left Shoe

Jim Meirose’s short and long works have appeared in numerous publications, including South Carolina Review, Xavier Review, Phoebe, Baltimore Review, New Orleans Review, American Literary Review, 34th Parallel, 14 Hills, Witness, Le Scat Noir, & many others. Further info:

ABOUT JEF: Founded in 1986, The Journal of Experimental Fiction is the English language’s pre-eminent source for innovative fiction. Contact: Eckhard Gerdes, editor & publisher, Site:

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New book! New bonus book added to the deal!

JEF is delighted to announce the publication of our newest, beautiful full-cloth hardcover title, Experimental Literature: A Collection of Statements edited by Jeffrey R Di Leo and Warren Motte! In Experimental Literature: A Collection of Statements thirty-four writers and critics reflect upon how literature puts itself to the test in an effort to make itself new. Those reflections assume very different shapes, and each approaches the question from a different angle. There are formalist readings here, and historicist readings; some contributors consider the politics of literature, others focus upon aesthetics; some statements deal with national traditions or periods, others are more synchronist. There are pieces on French theater, the Russian avant-garde, and performance in West Africa. There are meditations on poetry as a daily practice, on experiment as a way of knowing, on the restlessness of liminal spaces, and on the incommensurate dimensions of dream and reality. Each contribution is fueled by the notion that literature works best when it is willing to interrogate its own premises. Both individually and collectively, these analyses display an extraordinary mobility, one that does justice to the dynamism of experimental literature itself. Each essay engages its readers actively and thoughtfully, inviting us to participate in a conversation about literature’s horizon of possibility, about what literature is and can be. Robert Coover, arguably the most distinguished living American experimentalist, contributes an afterword to this volume.

And for a very limited time, when you purchase the new JEF title, you get a very rare bonus! We finally finished our move from our facility in Menifee, California, and much to our delight, when we looked at what we had, we discovered an entire box of one of our first titles, Arthur Winfield Knight’s The Darkness Starts Up Where You Stand, the third Depth Charge publication ever, only printed in a limited run of 200 copies. We will include a copy of this rare early JEF/Depth Charge book to anyone who orders a copy of the new Experimental Literature: A Collection of Statements title. You can see how JEF has grown firsthand, and you will be one of the very few to own this rare JEF title, long unavailable.

As usual, if you have any questions about our titles, please contact Eckhard at We’ve been told he’s a vampire and keeps long hours, so you should hear back from him pretty soon, perhaps during the gloaming!

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JEF Books proudly announces publication of Yuriy Tarnawsky’s “Literary Yoga”!

JEF Books proudly announces Yuriy Tarnawsky’s Literary Yoga!

Struggling with your iambs and pentameters? Characters and plots? Have you hit the concrete wall of a writer’s block? Or are you having the time of your life seeing your pen trace out graceful meanders of words on the blank pages before you or your fleet fingers make letters dutifully jump off the keyboard of your laptop onto the screen above it? Whichever is the case, you must try these 100 exercises the artist and educator in Yuriy Tarnawsky have conjured up for you. What the gentle stretching on the yoga mat does for your muscles and joints, these painful tasks will do for the writing talents inside you. You may return to them again, and again, and again.

About the Author

Yuriy Tarnawsky has authored some three dozen books of poetry, fiction, drama, essays, and translations in English and Ukrainian, including the novels Meningitis and Three Blondes and Death, the collections of short stories Short Tails and Crocodile Smiles, three collections of mininovels Like Blood in Water, The Future of Giraffes, and View of Delft comprising The Placebo Effect Trilogy, a collection of Heuristic poetry Modus Tollens, and the book of essays Claim to Oblivion. He was born in Ukraine but was raised and educated in the West. An engineer and linguist by training, he has worked as computer scientist specializing in Artificial Intelligence at IBM Corporation and professor of Ukrainian literature and culture at Columbia University. He resides with his wife Karina in the New York City metropolitan area.