Monday, September 28, 2009

Another glowing review for Philly Fiction 2

Charles Loudon of the Fox Chase Review has given his two cents on Philly Fiction 2, a second collection of short stories highlighting Philadelphia as a city of literary inspiration. He calls the anthology of short stories set in Philadelphia “a fast read that will keep you turning the pages,” picking out local writer Liz Kerr’s “The Summer of Dark Shadows” and its “stunning detail” about family divisions in wartime for particular praise. Click here to read the full review or go to the Philly Fiction site to see more praise for the book.
These writers bring us into the stories to witness homelessness and discrimination, complex family relationships and generational lines, mental illness, geographical discrimination and neglect. The volume is a fast read that will keep you turning the pages.
—Charles Loudon,

Friday, September 25, 2009

Photos from the Reading at Moonstone

The first event of the Philly Fiction 2 reading series was a resounding success. Held above the old Robin’s Bookstore at the Moonstone Arts Center, the reading featured four authors from Philly Fiction 2 reading excerpts of their stories. Hosted by Don Ron Books editors Josh McIlvain and Christopher Munden, the event began with Beth Goldner reading from her piece “Ambrosia.” Jan Kargulewicz shared an anecdote about his favorite strange Philadelphia place, Harry’s Occult Shop on South St., then read a well-edited excerpt from “A Cormorant Dries its Wings.” Liz Kerr gave us a sampling from her “The Summer of Dark Shadows” before Annie Wilson closed out the evening with a selection from her hilariously raunchy love story, “Hoagie.”

Come out November 14 when Philly Fiction returns for its second reading at Double Shots Coffeeshop in Old City. Details to follow right here!
Beth Goldner

Beth Goldner

Jan Kargulewicz

Jan Kargulewicz

Christopher Munden

Christopher Munden

Liz Kerr

Kiz Kerr

Annie Wilson

Annie Wilson

Monday, September 14, 2009

"Baby Blue" featured on UPenn alumni website

The story “Baby Blue” by John Carroll from Philly Fiction 2 was featured on UPenn’s (I think unofficial) alumni website, Dueling Tampons. John graduated from Philly’s Ivy in ’05 and worked at the university’s Kelly Writer’s House before going to pursue an MFA at American University. His story in Philly Fiction 2, “Baby Blue,” takes place in the bars of Northeast Philadelphia, on the SEPTA orange and blue lines, and at a Phillies game. The main character, Phil bumps into his old high school American lit teacher during an Eagles game. The teacher begins to force a bond between them over sports, and despite Phil's wariness, they take an uncomfortable trip to see the Phillies.

Read an excerpt of John’s story on the Penn blog, then go to to purchase the acclaimed anthology.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Philly Fiction 2 in Philadelphia magazine

Praise continues to come in for Philly Fiction 2!
Page 20 of the September issue of Philadelphia magazine features a photo and mention of Philly Fiction 2, the latest from Don Ron Books. The anthology is described as "a bunch of great short stories from local talent." Click here to read the complete article, which also recommends Wine Secrets from great Philly publisher Quirk Books and Fading Echoes by Bucks County Courier Times sportswriter Mike Sielski.

Another second of note: a bunch of great short stories from local talent in Philly Fiction 2 (Don Ron Books; $12).
—Victor Fiorillo, Philadelphia magazine

Praise for the first Philly Fiction in Philadelphia mag:
"The writing sings; in 'The Shanghai Ship to Love,' Edward P. Clapp hilariously describes a trip on the Chinatown Express. There’s genuine emotion in Michael Aronovitz’s 'The Big Picture' …. In Greg November’s 'Dinnertime at 42B,' a loser pays a hooker for her company, but the woman isn’t pretty, and the ending isn’t Hollywood. Welcome to Philadelphia."

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Philly Fiction 2 Authors to Read at Moonstone Arts Center

On Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009, Don Ron Books will host the first in a series of Fall/Winter Philly readings at the Moonstone Arts Center in Philadelphia. Moonstone Arts Center is the book-centered space on the second floor of the old Robin’s Books and run by Larry Robin, owner of the venerable but now sadly defunct store.

The night will be hosted by Philly Fiction editors Josh McIlvain and Christopher Munden. Four authors featured in Philly Fiction 2 will read selections from their stories: Beth Goldner, author of “Ambrosia”; Jan Kargulewicz, author of “A Comorant Dries its Wings”; Liz Kerr, author of “The Summer of Dark Shadows”; and Annie Wilson, author of “Hoagie.”

Beth Goldner was born and raised in King of Prussia, when Woolworth’s still sold parakeets and shotguns. Her fondest memories are of going to the Franklin Institute with her dad. She loved running through the worn-out giant heart that smelled of bacteria, urine, and candy wrappers. As a true filly from Philly, she still has her elephant key from the zoo. She is the author of Wake: Stories (Counterpoint Press, 2003) and The Number We End Up With (Counterpoint Press, 2005). In her story, “Ambrosia,” a Main Line car salesman finds his wife dead from a fall in the bathroom. Instead of calling the police, he joins the local block party. He wants to see his neighbors try his wife's ambrosia one last time and to confront the man who had been sleeping with his wife.

Jan Kargulewicz is a full-time sociology student and a resident of Roxborough. Before returning to school Jan worked as a bartender, television salesman, math tutor, freelance journalist, and reggae musician and wrote fiction in his spare time. An amateur urban geographer, he is available for free walking tours of center city. Jan is currently at work on his first nonfiction book. In his “A Cormorant Dries its Wings” a young slacker couple spend their days acting as prospective buyers of condos when they should be out looking for jobs. When the girl realizes she's pregnant it becomes clear just how lost and helpless the pair are.

Liz Kerr, a Philadelphia native, holds dual Irish and American citizenship. She is a registered nurse on the Heart Transplant Team at a Philadelphia hospital and is pursuing a master’s degree in English. She is a cofounder of Franklin’s Paine Skatepark Fund, a non-profit dedicated to building public skateboard parks in Philadelphia, and is an officer in the Ancient Order of Hibernians. She lives with her family in Jenkintown. In “The Summer of Dark Shadows,” set during the Vietnam War, Kerr portrays a large family leaving the city for the shore and trying to survive the tensions of having a son in the war, a rebellious daughter who often indulges in the vices she criticizes, a father who sells illegal cigarettes to help pay the family’s bills, and a young girl who sees life through the lens of bubble gum music and the vampire soap opera, Dark Shadows.

Annie Wilson came to Philly in 2004 to study dance and three-dollar hoagies. Since attending University of the Arts, she has performed in the Fringe and Live Arts festivals, and has directed an evening-length site-specific performance, in memory of the deathtrap. She is delighted to be living in the Italian Market section of a city she loves to bits. “Hoagie” is a modern love story about a hoagie-loving plumber who discovers a South Philly corner deli that makes an orgasmically good Italian hoagie. The hoagies take over his life, and his attempts to break his sexual sandwich fixation only end up unleashing all of his life's unhappiness.

Since its recent release, Philly Fiction 2 has already received some rave reviews, and this event is sure to be a great Philadelphia-themed time. In addition to the story excerpts, authors will reveal their favorite "strange" Philadelphia spots and be on-hand to sign copies of the acclaimed anthology.

Philly Fiction 2 reading
Moonstone Arts Center (Robins Books)
110A South 13th Street, Phila., 19127
Wednesday, September 23, 7pm

Email or call 215-735-9600 for more information.