Press 53 . PO Box 30314, Winston-Salem, NC 27130-0314
560 N. Trade St, Ste 103
Winston-Salem, NC 27101
Winner of the 2016 Press 53 Award for Short Fiction
8.5 x 5.5 paperback, 220 pages
Cover artist Dawn D. Surratt studied art at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro as a recipient of the Spencer Love Scholarship in Fine Art. She has exhibited her work throughout the Southeast and currently works as a freelance designer and artist. Her work has been published internationally in magazines, on book covers, and in print media. She lives on the beautiful Kerr Lake in northern North Carolina with her husband, one demanding cat, and a crazy Pembroke Welsh Corgi.
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Dennis McFadden grew up in Brookville, a small town in western Pennsylvania very much like the fictional Hartsgrove of Jimtown Road. He’s a graduate of Allegheny College and is a project manager for the state of New York. He lives and writes in an old farmhouse called Mountjoy on Bliss Road, just up Peaceable Street from Harmony Corners in upstate New York. His stories have appeared in dozens of publications, including The Missouri Review, New England Review, The Massachusetts Review, The Sewanee Review, Fiction, Crazyhorse, PRISM international, The South Carolina Review, Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine and The Best American Mystery Stories. His first collection, Hart’s Grove, was published by Colgate University Press in 2010.
Judge's comment: “These interestingly linked stories are fresh, gritty, surprising, and sometimes laugh-out-loud funny. We’ve published linked story collections in the past, but Dennis’ approach is unique. When I finished one story, I found myself looking forward to the next one, wondering who I was about to meet and how the story would tie in with the others. And the last story brought the entire collection full-circle, right back to the beginning with a very strange twist.”
—Kevin Morgan Watson, Publisher, Press 53
Early praise for Jimtown Road
In all my reading experience, I don't remember ever coming across a collection of linked stories that could also be classified as a page-turning mystery thriller, but this is exactly what the wickedly talented Dennis McFadden has achieved in Jimtown Road. It is sure to be considered one of the year's best.
--Donald Ray Pollock, author of The Heavenly Table and The Devil All the Time
With the artfully linked story collection, Jimtown Road, Dennis McFadden lured me to a sun-gold hilltop, and then pulled me into the thick, dark woods. He led me—breathless, heart thumping—over winding country roads and, driving too fast into the night without headlights, up and down the streets of Hartsgrove, his fictional—yet so real—small, Pennsylvania town. I followed him into dim taverns and dusty antiques shops and the lonely homes of his bruised and (sometimes) resilient characters.
These stories, these characters, this town inhabit me like an ache, like an exquisite yearning. There is so much need in these pages. Need for security, revenge, love, apology, intimacy, belonging, escape, power, peace. These needs are like the small town neighbors of Hartsgrove: they are always there, always in one another’s business, always weighing on the choices made and their consequences. As I moved with McFadden from one story to the next, the ghosts of each tale (those girls, those poor little girls) followed me, haunted me. They haunt me still.
—Patricia Ann McNair, author of The Temple of Air
Stepping onto Jimtown Road begins a satisfying, if unsettling, journey across generations in the fictional town of Hartsgrove, Pennsylvania. In exquisite prose, Dennis McFadden fills the pages of these skillfully crafted linked stories with love, hope, death and danger. They offer an unblinking look, illuminated with burning intensity by the ever-present moon, at the darkest parts of the human heart. Peopled by very real and flawed characters who feel like anyone’s own neighbors and friends, I found myself at the end of this book aching to return as soon as possible. I strongly urge everyone to visit McFadden’s Hartsgrove. You will not leave disappointed.
—Ray Morrison, author of In a World of Small Truths