Honoring the Late Wendell Mayo: Unsolicited Press Releases His Final Collection with All Proceeds Going to Lorain County Animal Shelter
Portland, OR— November 24, 2020 — Unsolicited Press humbly announces the long-awaited availability of What Is Said About Elephants, a collection of short fiction by the late Wendell Mayo. Unsolicited Press and Wendell Mayo were in the middle of preparing his short story collection for publication when he suddenly passed away. Our team, in coordination with Mr. Mayo's wife decided to publish the collection posthumously to honor his life and support the local animal shelter in Lorian county. All profit from the sale of What Is Said About Elephants will go to the Friendship Animal Protective League in Lorian County.
Mayo begins his new collection with a brief tale and utterance made by an elephant trainer at a zoo: “It’s said,” Beasley says, “an elephant won’t pass by a dead elephant without casting a branch or some dust on the body. A kind of homage, I suppose.”
In a variety of ways, the twelve stories that follow are tributes to characters who find themselves on the fringes, at the sides of roads. In “When the Moon Was Ours for the Taking,” a man recalls a brief few days he found himself fishing with his NASA-physicist father who is otherwise preoccupied with the Space Race craze of the 1960s. In “A Mindfulness Becoming Less,” an aging, out-of work Homer Lynch convinces himself he doesn’t need the job and health care he needs. In “Vigil for Ammospiza nigréscens,” a veteran of the Vietnam War searches for an extinct bird in the salt marshes of Florida, haunted by the North Vietnamese soldier he killed. In “Burn Barrel,” Cole, a jobless college graduate, despairing that he can never pay his student loans, begins to burn all his university papers, in a strange effort to erase the debt. In these and other stories, Mayo’s characters are people we think we know, in situations we think we understand—and then realize in flashes of truth we can see them—and ourselves—in new ways.
Wendell Mayo (1953-2019) was a native of Corpus Christi, Texas. He authored five collections of short stories, recently, Survival House with SFASU Press in 2018. His other collections are The Cucumber King of Kėdainiai, winner of the Subito Press Award for Innovative Fiction; Centaur of the North (Arte Público Press), winner of the Aztlán Prize; B. Horror and Other Stories (Livingston Press); and a novel-in-stories, In Lithuanian Wood (White Pine Press). Over one-hundred of his short stories have appeared widely in magazines and anthologies, including Yale Review, Harvard Review, Manoa, Missouri Review, Boulevard, New Letters, Threepenny Review, Indiana Review, and Chicago Review. He received the National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellowship, a Fulbright to Lithuania (Vilnius University), two Individual Excellence Awards from the Ohio Arts Council, and a Master Fellowship from the Indiana Arts Commission. He taught fiction writing in the MFA/BFA programs at Bowling Green State University for over twenty years.
WHAT IS SAID ABOUT ELEPHANTS (978-1-950730-55-1) is available (paperback and ebook) directly from the publisher (www.unsolicitedpress.com) and all major retailers. Ingram Book Group distributes the title to the market. The author is available for media appearances, interviews, and readings.
Unsolicited Press was founded in 2012 and is based in Portland, OR. The press strives to produce exceptional works of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry from award-winning authors. Learn more at www.unsolicitedpress.com.
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