Update: The Beauty of Ordinary Things Pre-Order Campaign -- August 21, 2013

One week in, the Beauty of Ordinary Things pre-order campaign stands at a full 35% of its goal! This is a spectacular show of enthusiasm for Harriet Scott Chessman’s powerful new novel. Our abundant gratitude goes out to all those who have brought us this far in so short a time –- and to everyone helping spread word of the campaign. This book itself is truly a thing of beauty, and we can’t wait to supply you your copy, along with your very special perks.

As a further expression of thanks, this Sunday we’ll inaugurate our Literary Believer Perks Plus Program. We’ll pluck three names from a hat, and each winning Literary Believer will receive a signed copy of a previous Harriet Scott Chessman novel: Ohio Angels, Lydia Cassatt Reading the Morning Paper, or Someone Not Really Her Mother.

Anyone who has pre-ordered The Beauty of Ordinary Things by 11:59 p.m. on Saturday, August 24th will be automatically entered to win.

Below, we share a stunning passage from Ms. Chessman’s third novel, Someone Not Really Her Mother. For me, these few sentences exemplify the magic of Chessman’s prose. Placing us in the mind of the aged main character, Hannah, as her thoughts wander into the italicized and vivifying provinces of memory, Chessman evokes the bright longing, the shining loneliness, and the sparkling tidal rhythms that characterize time for anyone who’s lived a while and is the least bit sensitive to its passing.

Till Sunday, and with constant thanks to all you Literary Believers,

M. Allen Cunningham, Atelier26 Books

From Harriet Scott Chessman’s Someone Not Really Her Mother:

As she stands at the window, over the sink, she thinks of her own birthday, her seventh; she is Hannah Luce, and she’s in the garden with Maman and Tante Louise, and Emma, and Papa too, and the day is bright blue, in the cherry tree above her head, filled with white blossoms. Maman gives her a plate with a piece of her almond cake, and as Hannah takes her first mouthful, she thinks to herself, this is what I must write about, now, soon, for I am a poet, and the world is a poem — such a surprising thought to have, when you’re seven, and all is still before you, England and America, the perishing of those you love, the baby crying on the boat, birthday cakes with balloons, a little girl running in a garden, a little girl coming out of the shadows of a pine tree. Here in this garden, you are seven years old and all of it is still to come.