Chicago, (PressExposure) April 21, 2009 -- With millions of people in foreclosure it makes sense that a novel would be written about foreclosure. A novel published by a small press in Chicago seems to be the only one right now taking on this subject. Rocket Man by William Elliott Hazelgrove http://www.billhazelgrove.com centers around a man fighting to keep his home. The Chicago Sun Times compared the book to John Irving and John Updike and went on to say: "Hazelgrove masterfully gives voice to the numbness and fright, as well as the humor of a man trying to save his house and family." [http://www.billhazelgrove.com/suntimes.pdf]
Like the Beat Writers who summed up post war America, we now have writers who will try and catch the tenor of "The Great Recession Generation." A difficult thing to do when a book is usually a year out from publication.
"I think that for writers now, this is the big question...how to come to terms with this upheavel in our economy and really our life," Kathy Ciske, Publisher of Pantonne Press said from her office. "Tom Wolfe once said no one writes the social novel anymore, but can we afford to ignore what is going on in front of us now? We need our novelists to interepret, to make sense of our time...we can't keep churning out fiction that is about something happned a hundred years ago."
Rocket Man was published last December and named a Best Book of 2008 by the San Antonio Express. The reviews on Amazon speak of a novel that strkes a chord with people now. [http://www.amazon.com/Rocket-Man-William-Elliott-H..].
Grady Harp, a top Amazon reviewer summed up the novel, "William Elliott Hazelgrove's ROCKET MAN is a brilliant piece of writing, a work that meticulously dissects contemporary life in America with such a keen eye that the author is able to catch at least passing glances at us all."
"This is a hard thing for a novel to do," Author William Hazelgrove said when I reached him on the phone. "When Jack Kerouacs On the Road was published the book actually predicted a change coming to America. He proposed an alternative lifestyle of drugs and sex and breaking with mainstream America. That did not really come until the sixties, but the Beat Generation really were the first group of writers to define the angst swirling around at that time."
So how will the "Great Recession Generation" be remembered? Hemingway summed up the generation after WWI. Kerouac put his finger on the mood of the country fifty years later. Now we have an upheavel that has yet to be defined. A novel like Rocket Man might be the first voice of many to come.