Faced with increasing loneliness and mortality, Patty Pemberton is torn between a past she honors, a present she assumes is stable, and a future she doesn't know how to plan for. After a new friend disappears from her life, and as autumn deepens and the year's end closes in, she journeys into her community and the places and histories binding them all-and haunting her-until she arrives at what is most important while hoping her friend returns. Rich with characters and locations, as well as personal and public chronicles, October is a moving and compassionate meditation on life, love, memory, and death.
Every day, I move between Saul and Ray. And although Ray has been gone for a while and I live alone, I am never alone because he and our images when we were together and Saul and his image have me. One photo greets me, like a face in a crowd, and the other image, more familiar over time, also comes and goes. Both photos have been with me at peaks, in valleys, and on the plains in between. I pass by them daily and nightly, month to month, but I should only have one.
William Auten is the author of the novels In Another Sun and Pepper's Ghost and the short-story collection A Fine Day Will Burn Through. His work has appeared widely online and in print. williamauten.com
Fire in Hand Media, 9780578866536, 324pp.
Publication Date: September 21, 2021