Justin Nicholes’ new novel River Dragon Sky, released by Signal 8 Press, is now available! (Click here to buy from Amazon)
JUSTIN NICHOLES (justinnicholes.com) is the author of the novel Ash Dogs (Another Sky Press, 2008). His fiction has twice been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and has appeared in Stickman Review, The Summerset Review, Prick of the Spindle, Slice, SLAB, The Medulla Review, and elsewhere. His essays have appeared in China Daily, Narrative Magazine, and Dark Sky Magazine.
A novel of people far from home and far from the selves of their origins, River Dragon Sky is the story of Junping, a Taoist street seer turned arsonist, Zhuan He, the girl he is sure is the daughter he abandoned years earlier, and Kal, an American who seems to have traveled to China for girls and kung fu. Long-buried memories emerge, and fragmented lives converge and assemble themselves in new ways, as fires spring up around the rural university where Kal teaches and Zhuan He studies. While pressures of Eastern tradition complicate Kal and Zhuan He’s chances, someone with murderous intentions is stalking them. Will Junping be their savior, or their killer?
“Justin Nicholes’s River Dragon Sky is a handsome, brooding, noir-tinged chronicle of buildings licked by flames, charred remains, and scorched lives. With a sultry existentialism reminiscent of Bowles, this novel coolly propels its denizens toward inevitable and yet surprising ends.”
–Elizabeth Kadetsky, author of First There Is a Mountain: A Yoga Romance (Little, Brown and Company)
“Reading River Dragon Sky I kept remembering how you can only fold a piece of paper in half seven times. This novel is as dense a construction. Flaunting many edges and ready to untuck a secret at each fold, Nicholes tells a story that forces the reader to believe everything and trust no one.”
–Jac Jemc, author of My Only Wife (Dzanc Books)
“How to make River Dragon Sky: Start with Asian influences and add 2 oz. of Western impulse. Stir in 1½ oz. of the unpredictable and garnish with poetic tendencies. Pour through Justin Nicholes, serve over ice somewhere quiet where the words can wash over you, where you can drink this down, where you can slip into the ripe echoes of this feverish novel.”
–J. A. Tyler, author of Inconceivable Wilson (Scrambler Books) and A Shiny, Unused Heart (Black Coffee Press)
“I absolutely loved Justin Nicholes’ last novel Ash Dogs, and this one acts the chalk to the cheese—it’s completely different in tone/ideology. It’s great to see his China-influence come to the fore here, yet the strengths of Ash Dogs hold true. This is an innovative writer who pushes the perimetres in inspiring ways; I loved it. More please.”
–Andrez Bergen, author of Tobacco-Stained Mountain Goat (Another Sky Press)Another Sky Press