White Shoes: A Novel: ($20, 220pp, 6X9”: Softcover ISBN-13: 978-1-68114-326-2; $35: Hardcover ISBN-13: 978-1-68114-327-9; $2.99: EBook ISBN-13: 978-1-68114-328-6; LCCN: 2017937215; Release: July 20, 2017): The adventures of young Willie Smith as he grows up in small-town America playing baseball and trying to learn what it means to “be a man.” This novel engages the reader in the feel, sights, sounds, and smells of playing baseball: of playing the old game, not watching it on TV. Partly a comic coming-of-age story and even an apprenticeship novel, White Shoes shows the struggles of school, of growing up in a single-parent family, of emerging sexuality, and of trying to find one’s place in the world, experiences both universal and individual to every human soul. From the first spring baseball of Willie’s freshman year to graduation and hopes for something beyond the baseball diamond and the confines of Harmon Falls, a fading Midwestern coal and steel town, E. S. Louis brings people and town to life in an exploration of ways of life both past and yet still alive in more than memory, in how so many of us still experience the world. As a work of “Men’s Studies,” an offshoot of the increasingly popular field of Gender Studies, White Shoes asks essential questions about learning how to grow up to be a good man; as a work of postmodern fiction it treats narrative playfully and with humor.
Edward S. Louis’ books include Odysseus on the Rhine (the story of Odysseus’ adventures after he returns from Troy), The Monster Specialist (the story of Sir Severus le Brewse, knight of King Arthur’s court, and the sorceress Lilava, his partner in love and adventure), The Streets of Harmon Falls (a collection of poems about the small town in which White Shoes takes place), and the forthcoming Wiskalo Chookalo, a ghost story set in Depression-era Wisconsin. He lives in Wisconsin with his artist wife, Kristy, and his house lion, Bingley, and teaches literature and writing. Please see his short story “Little Fotungus” in the 2017 edition of The Long Story.