Dean Gessie

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GUANTANAMO REDUX ($15: Softcover ISBN-13: 978-1-68114-299-9; $30: Hardcover ISBN-13: 978-1-68114-300-2; $2.99: EBook ISBN-13: 978-1-68114-301-9; LCCN: 2016919184; Release: April 15, 2017; Purchase on Amazon or Barnes & Noble): uses the techniques of speculative fiction and science fiction to create a dystopian vision of the near future in America. Here, most any kind of dissent is criminalized and individuals are routinely charged with terrorism offences. The L. A. Mercy Killer is incarcerated in the Bay of Frisco, a center for domestic terrorists, after the third terror has destroyed much of Los Angeles. Special Agent Orwell and Judge Dan believe the girl whose face you can’t see was deeply involved in not only the Mercy Killer’s crime, but, also, the massive terror attack on Los Angeles. In Part II of the novella, a flashback, we retrace the steps of the girl whose face you can’t see prior to the third terror. Who is she and what does she represent? Did she know the L.A. Mercy Killer? Was she responsible for his crime and for her own? The conclusion of the novella is a chilling expose of how conformity and authoritarianism threaten freedom, imagination, language, life and limb. The L.A. Mercy Killer stands in the long tradition of dissidents who rage against the security state.

“The cryptic, poetic prose of Gessie’s near-future novella requires slow, careful reading. A derelict ship in the Bay of Frisco houses the Center for Domestic Terrorists. Atheists, political dissidents, and privacy advocates are locked up in government prisons, buried as thoroughly as the cask of Amontillado. The L.A. Mercy Killer has just euthanized an old woman in a hospital and is being interrogated by the aptly named Special Agent Orwell. Orwell insists that he was working with the mysterious girl whose face no one can see; she’s wanted in connection with an attack that destroyed Los Angeles. The girl may be real, or she may be just the spark of rebellion in a society steeped in demagoguery and authoritarianism. Gessie evokes a nightmare scenario of an Orwellian government under which justice, freedom, and equality are antiquated notions, and you can hear ‘amendments of the Constitution snapping like tracheal bones…’ The message is timely and pertinent.” —Publishers Weekly, April 2017

Gessie - Brief - Cover - 9781681143385-Perfect

A Brief History of Summer Employment: ($15: Softcover ISBN-13: 978-1-68114-338-5; $30: Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-68114-339-2; $2.99: EBook ISBN-13: 978-1-68114-340-8; LCCN: 2017940877; Fiction—Literary; Release: November 1, 2017; Purchase on Amazon or Barnes & Noble): is a fictional memoir that unpacks blood sport in the marketplace. The narrator finances many years of post-secondary education by taking summer jobs of dizzying variety. As he documents his experiences, he becomes porte-parole for a generation in the grips of precarious work. More broadly, however, he illuminates personalities of intriguing emotional and psychological complexity in circumstances that are obviously or discreetly desperate. These are dispatches from the front lines, stories that present an ironic and critical portrait of economic activity and human imperfections. Adversity and anguish burn in the atmosphere as do humor and heroism. The workplace is a dangerous environment to earn a living.

Dean Gessie was born in Thunder Bay, Ontario. He enjoyed a long career as Head of the English Department at Pickering College in Newmarket, Ontario. While there, he was also Director of the award-winning Joshua Weinzweig Creative Writing Program. Gessie won Honorable Mention in the Press 53 Novella Competition.  Also, one of his short stories was selected to the list of Highly Commended Stories in the international Manchester Fiction Prize. Most recently, Gessie published Guantanamo Redux, dystopian fiction about the near future in America and the byzantine complications of survival in an authoritarian state. Gessie has also written and served extensively as a social justice activist.

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