You’ve likely heard or read someone’s claim that life was more simple before mobile phones, texting and Facebook. But was it? Brian Sweany draws a compelling argument against that notion in his debut novel, Exotic Music of the Belly Dancer.
Imagine a literary Bart Simpson and his wild and wonderful family. Call them the Fitzgeralds. Set them in South Bend, Ind. in the late 1980s when hair was big, jeans were tight, and SUVs were called station wagons. A for-sure set-up for comedic nostalgia, but Sweany slips in a couple of serious sidelines that suck your breath away.
Swing by #litchat on Friday, June 14, 4 p.m. E.T. to catch author Brian Sweany discuss his novel, Exotic Music of the Belly Dancer.
Hank Fitzgerald is your average hormone-drenched teenager in a comfortable middle class home. He has all of the things most teenage boys dream of—a car, a sexy girlfriend, good looks, indulgent parents, and a younger sister to tease. His parents don’t though. They want another baby. As Hank parties his way through high school, he keeps gimlet eyes on the bedroom highs and miscarriage lows of his parents. When the unthinkable happens, Hank is forced to accept that life isn’t what happens to you, it’s what you make from what happens.
Exotic Music of the Belly Dancer may not feature exotic music, nor a belly dancer, but its vivid voice, wry asides and satirical winks make up for it.
From Sweany’s website bio: “Since 1999 Brian Sweany has worked for Recorded Books, one of the world’s largest audiobook publishers. Prior to that he edited cookbooks and computer manuals and claims to have saved a major pharmaceutical company from being crippled by the Y2K bug.
Brian has a BS in English and History from Eastern Michigan University, from which he graduated magna cum laude in 1995. A former semi-professional student, his collegiate tour included stop-overs at Wabash College (the all-male school that reputedly fired Ezra Pound from its faculty for having sex with a prostitute), Marian University (the former all-female school founded by Franciscan nuns that if you don’t count Brian’s expulsion has fired no one of consequence and is relatively prostitute-free), and Indiana University (via a high school honors course he has no recollection of ever attending).
Brian is about halfway finished with the sequel, Making Out With Blowfish. Brian has spent most of his life in the Midwest and now lives near Indianapolis with his wife and three children.”
Follow Brian Sweany on Twitter: @briansweany.