Brian Mandabach's excellent debut novel Or Not is a few months from hitting the shelves, but we've been hearing good things for a while from his students who've read the manuscript. Now we're hearing from his fellow authors. John Nichols wrote:
"Cassie Sullivan [the novel's protagonist] is a lovely kid, aware of the earth and how to save it, but nobody’s listening. Cassie’s voice is funny, angry, sad, sarcastic, and perplexed as she struggles to find her own identity. And to find hope for the future despite all the yahoos surrounding her. You will laugh, you will weep, and you’ll really enjoy this delightful and poignant novel about a kooky idealist who refuses to give up as she grows up."
This is a particularly cool blurb for this book because not only is Nichols an eminent novelist of the Southwest and author of the acclaimed The Milagro Beanfield War, but he was, as far as I can tell, a friend and associate of one of Cassie's favorite authors (and mine and I suspect Brian's at that age): Edward Abbey. Abbey is dead, so this is as close as Cassie (and Brian) will get to an endorsement from him. It might even be enough for Cassie to forgive Mr. Nichols for calling her a "lovely kid."