Tom Schabarum's first novel was a 2011 Finalist for a Lambda Literary Award. His novella and stories, THE NARROWS, MILES DEEP was listed as a Best Book of 2011 by the Lambda Literary Foundation by Felice Picano. His latest, AIRSTREAMING, was published in the spring of 2012.
Winner of the 2010 Creekwalker Poetry Prize, Tom's poetry has been published in Poet Lore, Flights, PIF Magazine, and The Breakfast District. He is currently working on a manuscript of poetry and the sequel to AIRSTREAMING.
Tom holds an MFA in creative writing and literature from Bennington College. He lives in Seattle and works as a creative director for corporate events and media. An avid hiker and sailor, Tom loves to hit the trails with his dog, Buster.
Cascadia Publishing, 2012
Airstreaming is set in Kansas City, the epicenter of be-bop jazz, train travel and commerce in mid-century Midwest. The story begins in the early 1970's, and uses the declining 18th and Vine Jazz District, Union Station and West Bottoms stockyards, as its backdrop, as well as the outlying town of Olathe, Kansas.
Airstreaming refers to the icon of American travel, the Airstream trailer, which conjures up dreams of escape for many people. The trailer becomes a catalyst for three women whose extraordinary circumstances bind them together. Clare, a newly single working mother overcomes her anger for being left alone after her husband's death. Linda, her daughter, lets go of a father she deeply loved through their shared joy in jazz music, and Martha, a housewife, desperately wants a child to survive the pain of an earlier loss. Jack, a strong and complicated man, whose love for his wife Martha, links the three women, holds on to hope after tragedy strikes by buying an Airstream trailer. His belief that it will change everything blinds him to the reality of his situation. Only Linda ultimately sees the truth, and must confront the other three as each of their worlds change.
Ultimately, everyone must choose what to leave behind. Compromise and reconciliation at the novel's conclusion finds Linda buoyed by hope, and a life yet to be lived on the open road in a uniquely American story.
The Narrows, Miles Deep
A Novella and Stories
Set primarily in the Intermountain West, The Narrows, Miles Deep, tells the story of two men who must come to terms with each other in tumultuous times. Alternating between narrative, and the voices of friends, family and old lovers, the characters are explored from all sides as the story deepens with meaning.
The novella is a travelogue of the human heart, by turns funny, heartbreaking and with mythic undertones, these two men must navigate their lives in extraordinary times of wonder, plague, and radical change. A mother must face the rigors of her religion, two fathers realize the costs of keeping secrets, and two women, lovers, through one of the men, discover the meaning of their relationship. But the story is ultimately about the fragile nature of love. Utilizing the myth and power of the western landscape, ending in The Narrows of Zion National Park, one of the men must make a wrenching choice and finds "the world is constructed of terrible consequences."
Cascadia Publishing, 2010
The Palisades revolves around family, the search for sustainable love, our place in nature and how it revives us and the threads of our past lives that inform our current ones. Marjorie and Nicholas, mother and son, come together during one traumatic night in Big Sur, the place where their lives separated decades before.
Nicholas has been in a fitful relationship with his partner, Matt, for some time, but the ensuing events, after uniting with his mother, open up familial wounds that threaten them. He begins investigating what happened to his mother, which takes him deeper into the darkness of his family. His mother, Marjorie, comes back to the world slowly with Nicholas' help and begins to reveal her side of the story and how she ended up living out of her beloved van in and around Big Sur. The Palisades delves into the aftermath of a person vanishing from their loved one's lives and the ripples it causes in their character.
After all is revealed, Nicholas and Marjorie must ultimately choose which path to take to transform their lives.
"I bought this book after reading the author's previous book "The Palisides" (also a great read). "
— A. Gaglione
"I found myself becoming emotionally involved in the story as well. "
Don't miss Tom's guest editorial Silver Writing: A Look at How AIRSTREAMING Evolved on Glamper.
Swimming With Michelangelo
Title poem from Tom's forthcoming chapbook, "Swimming With Michelangelo."
Tom reads his poem, "90th and Lexington to Newark, NJ, 2011."
Recorded at the West Hollywood Book Fair, October 2011.
Airstreaming: a novel by Tom Schabarum
It's quintessentially American, and for everyone. What started as a short story, became a screenplay, and then a wildly different novel over the course of 12 years was a labor of love. Tom's editor, Amberly Finarrelli did a wonderful job and found it a touching story of love, loss, and redemption. If you like it, please review it up on Amazon and tell your friends. If you don't, tell Tom.
Plans for Altering the River
Plans for Altering the River by Richard Hugo. One of Tom's favorite poems.