Drawn From Life
by Jonathan Strong

ISBN: 978-0-9297999-3-3
Perfect Bound, $17.00
Publication Date: September 2008
5 x 7 inches, 302 pages

Individuals: Order directly from Small Press Distribution,
1-800-869-7553; or Amazon.com.

Bookstores: Order through Small Press Distribution.

Like the erotic line drawings of its protagonist, Peter, Drawn From Life insists on presenting the reader with a sexual world that is both beautifully rendered and unrelenting in its honesty. Peter, able to name all makes of cars on the road at the age of three, cannot name what makes him unhappy as he struggles to achieve artistic and emotional happiness in life. His quest leads him to the East Coast, where he finds himself unable to draw or love men in the ways he wants to. The novel traces his aesthetic and erotic development, augmenting the themes of his youth with its final chapters, which find Peter in possession of his grandmother’s farm, a barn full of Nashes, DeSotos and Kaisers, and a reclusive ex-convict of a boyfriend with whom to navigate the pleasures of middle age.

Praise for Jonathan Strong’s previous publications:

“Strong's simple prose carries marvels, and, in the grand tradition of Modernist Literature, his climaxes are orgies of restraint.”  —Stephen Bottom, Band of Thebes

“Jonathan Strong is a true master, embodying all the old-fashioned attributes that count: a lucid style, a moral footing, an eye for the key details, and the kind of passion that shames cheap irony. In Consolation he has turned the university novel into the kind of splendid soap opera that Tolstoy used to give us. . . a triumph in every way.”  —Darin Strauss

A Circle Around Her is the entrancing story of a woman poised between the summer and the autumn of her life. Jonathan Strong makes us feel the cool breezes beneath the shortening sunny days, and he shows us how time complicates and colors our desires. This is a heartening novel. In each bittersweet encounter, Mary Lanaghan and her loved ones learn what it means to let go without giving up.”  —Michael Downing

An Untold Tale is an irresistible blend of mythic tale, psychological mystery and daily small-town gossip. . . borne along on the fierce tides of his characters' very different lives, sexual and political, intimate and public, charismatic and quite ordinary. This is a compelling book that reads like a small classic, the reticent kind New Englanders produce best: cool on the surface, seething with questions and challenges underneath.”  —Rosellen Brown

Secret Words is a deft and lovely book, humorous and touching, wise in the ways of the heart.”   —A.G. Mojtabai

“In Elsewhere Jonathan Strong has summoned a world where the terror and ardor of adolescence continue to haunt those who have long passed their teens.”  —Alice Hoffman

From Drawn From Life...

From his stubby point of view each make of car had its own personality. He would stand, brown eyes at headlight level, puckering up for a smooch of Mommy’s 1940 Dodge or narrowing his lips to a thin line to match the toothless smile of Gramma’s ’42 Chrysler. But Grandmother’s ’39 black Ford had a fussy swept up mustache that caused him to squint and wrinkle his nose.
He was Pete. He had been born in a year of no new cars, only jeeps, tanks, and half tracks. Before the war, before Pete was born, Daddy had broken his family tradition of Fords and bought himself an Oldsmobile. Pete did not recall Daddy ever having gone away to fight but did have a cloudy memory of the silver blue Olds resting on blocks in the garage and of himself trying to spin its sluggish tires when he was not yet two.
Grandmother, who had the Ford, lived close to them in their village near Lake Michigan, but Gramma with the Chrysler had her place by the Mississippi one hundred and thirty-two miles west. She had retired there long ago. Pete told her he too would retire there when he was old.

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