Take a Break and Read a Great Book: A House Made of Stars

a house made of stats

There’s no writing exercise today: have a go at yesterday’s imitation challenge if you have free time.

She’s only ten years old, but she knows something is wrong with her father. Her mother says he just needs time to rest, to clear his mind. They must never question him. They must never call the police.

This week, by the way, is a special occasion: it’s the one-year anniversary of Tawnysha Greene’s novel, A House Made of Stars. The publisher (my wife and I) are celebrating by running an e-book sale: you can buy the kindle version for only $2.99 for a limited time. Wow!

I edited and published this novel, and I still feel struck by how good it is. The novel tells the story of a hard of hearing girl whose family wanders from crisis to crisis. As their situation worsens, it becomes clear that the source of their trouble is the protagonist’s unstable father, but no matter how dangerous he becomes, her mother insists that everyone has to do what he says, that the women of the family have a religious duty to support him, and cover up his violence.

The novel is “a gripping, gorgeous read,” according to celebrated author Moira Crone: it’s fast paced and lyrical and scary, and since being published has been a finalist in multiple novel competitions.

If you are looking for something to read, take a look, and visit Tawnysha’s website, too.

Tawnysha! #ladyofthehour #tawnyshagreene #ahousemadeofstars #burlesquepress #knoxville #booklaunch

A post shared by burlesquepress (@burlesquepress) on

3 thoughts on “Take a Break and Read a Great Book: A House Made of Stars

  1. Thanks Daniel.

    Maybe you can do a post (or several) about allusion – classical, biblical, literary, contemporary.

    You could write about how great authors use it, you could write about how writers could use it today.

    Also suggested are topics about rhetoric and metaphor.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I will do! One question: what is the goal, for you, for alluding to other works? Why do you feel it’s an important skill?

      That’s what I struggle with, talking about allusion. I think I have some ideas how it works. And I definitely notice semi-conscious moments of it in my own work — lots of them. But I’m not sure what we contemporary writers are trying to do with it.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Some reasons to use allusion:

        (1) Authors of the Renaissance, like Shakespeare, Milton, and Edmund Spenser, use allusion as an intertextual conversation with the great literature and culture of the West. Milton using allusion to create in Paradise Lost a truly mythic and literary epic, both promoting and in a way critiquing the epic.

        (2) sometimes allusion can be used to heighten a literary work; Malcolm Cowley’s Under the Volcano and Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian are popular for the strong allusiveness.

        (3) to reiterate point 1 a bit, see biblical allusions in American literature. Robert Alter’s book Pen of Iron shows how Melville, Abraham Lincoln, Faulkner, Marilynne Robinson, and Saul Bellow echoed the Bible in their works to weave darker undercurrents and similar themes in the Bible with their stories.

        When we lost the focus on classical education, I think we lost both a connection with what is part of us as Westerners and also some of the direct and uninhibited experience of a Shakespeare play or a Milton poem that could come to us when we have some basic knowledge of Greco-Roman and biblical sources.

        Liked by 1 person

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s