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POE BALLANTINE reads from his novel WHIRLAWAY with MIMI POND

Whirlaway (Hawthorne Books)

Eddie Plum, who insists he’s been unjustifiably committed to a California psychiatric hospital, manages to finally escape after fourteen years of incarceration to start his life anew. On the run, he holes up in a sheltered barrio on a bluff above the Pacific Ocean owned by his wealthy but unsympathetic father. Here he meets Sweets, the telepathic dog, laments the loss of Sofia, his madhouse lover, and plays the horses at the Del Mar Racetrack. Eventually he meets up with an old friend, Shelly Hubbard, a fellow horseplayer, record collector/dealer, and hardcore loner, who tells him about his brother, Donny, dead at the age of eighteen from a tragic dive off a thirty-foot La Jolla sea cliff known as the Clam. Eddie discovers a family secret and wants to help, but by then he’s already embroiled in the psychotic incident with the Tijuana prostitutes, the madhouse lover, and the police, who are hot on his tail. Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride has nothing on Whirlaway.

Praise for Whirlaway

"Poe Ballantine is the most soulful, insightful, funny, and altogether luminous 'under-known' writer in America. He knocks my socks off, even when I’m barefoot. —TOM ROBBINS, Tibetan Peach Pie

"Poe Ballantine is brilliant." —CHERYL STRAYED, Wild

"Whirlaway is a fever dream of my favorite things: horse racing, records, booze, insanity, and women. What a strange and crazed comedic ride. Ballantine’s writing is like no other." —WILLY VLAUTIN, The Free

"Like David Sedaris, he is an American outsider with insane comedic and storytelling gifts." —MARION WINIK, Above Us Only Sky and NPR Correspondent

"Let me tell you somethin’ true, people: Poe Ballantine is the best American writer alive that you’ve definitely never heard of." —SETH MARKO, The Book Catapult

"Hoping that the secret of Poe Ballantine stays secret no longer." —SCOTT PARKER, Minneapolis Star Tribune

"If you see [Poe Ballantine’s] name in a byline, read it."—JACK WATERS, UVU Review

Poe Ballantine currently lives in Chadron, Nebraska. The documentary of the same title as Ballantine’s memoir, Love and Terror on the Howling Plains of Nowhere, won the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival Hot Doc Award as well as the Big Sky award, given to the film that captures the spirit of the American West. Michael Moore included filmmaker Dave Jannetta’s Love and Terror on the Howling Plains of Nowhere at the Traverse City Film Festival and the documentary was also a finalist for the Philadelphia Geek Award. To view the trailer click here. Ballantine’s work has appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, The Sun, Kenyon Review, and The Coal City Review. In addition to garnering numerous Pushcart and O. Henry nominations, Mr. Ballantine’s work has been included in the anthologies The Best American Short Stories 1998 and The Best American Essays 2006.

Photo by Dave Janetta

Mimi Pond is a cartoonist, illustrator, and writer. She has created comics for the Los Angeles TimesSeventeen magazine, National Lampoon, and many other publications. She has also written for television: her credits include the first full-length episode of The Simpsons, “Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire”, and episodes for the television shows Designing Women and Pee Wee’s Playhouse. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, the painter Wayne White.

Event date: 
Saturday, May 26, 2018 - 5:00pm
Event address: 
1818 N Vermont Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90027
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