A Book of Fields is a collection of stories about the men and women of the Pioneer Valley in Western Massachusetts. The character types and locales will be recognizable to anyone who has spent time in the area. A few stories share characters. Stories include a crime like when the junkie son of a railroad man tries to rob a train or some local kids attempt a hold up at the local diner where the mayor and the police chief are having breakfast! There is a town out of time, a ghost in the reservoir, protest marchers, history and magic to delight the imagination and soul of the reader.
Odeon Press published my latest literary fiction collection of short stories: A Book of Fields: Tales from the Pioneer Valley, in September of 2019.
You can purchase A Book of Fields from the Home page.
Here’s some praise for A Book of Fields:
This book contains small semi-historical Raymond Carver-ish short story gems that carry “an embossed stamp of history on the tongue,” as the author so beautifully puts it in one of his tales. My home for the last 50 years has been in Massachusetts, in the Connecticut River Valley where all of the stories are set. One even takes place in my own town. I recognize these people, these settings, these problems. This is not reportage but a world of real ghosts and pretend ones, of missing girls, historical re-enactments, and town meetings. Not to be missed.
Jane Yolen, winner of the 2019 Massachusetts Book award, for the novel Mapping the Bones, and the Ann Izard Storyteller’s Choice Awards for two collections: How to Fracture A Fairy Taleauthor, and in fact 375 other published books.
A Book of Fields is a marvelous, wry, exuberant
collection of stories, filled with the human and the magical. I love how
each story is its own “field,” ready to surprise and move you, as you
walk into it. A witty and inspiring fictional portrait of this region of
Harriet Scott Chessman, author of Lydia Cassatt Reading the Morning Paper and
The Beauty of Ordinary Things.
Here’s a link to a free short story, The Unburdening, about an elderly Japanese man who gets caught up in a media frenzy when his otaku son takes a video of him praying to sacrifice himself to help solve Japan’s demographic problem. His prayer launches a mass suicide movement then ends only when when Mount Fuji erupts.
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In 2005 Stephen co-wrote with writer-director John Harrison and sold the treatment for Sidekicks to Disney’s Children’s Animated Feature division. Currently Stephen is working with John Harrison on two screenplays, The Mad King of Las Vegas, in development, and UBU. See Stephen’s IMDB page.
In 2009, Stephen co-wrote and co-produced the documentary Seeking the 36 with writer-director Dennis Lanson.
Stephen has written several as yet unproduced screenplays also.
Three kids rob a diner in Greenfield where everyone knows them. A boy goes to the Big E in West Springfield and runs away with the circus. An animal control officer has to shoot a moose in Sheffield. These deceptively simple fictional stories explore the magical landscape of the Pioneer Valley (or slightly beyond), populated not by magicians or wizards but by very real human beings; it’s a portrait of a changing world and the men and women who inhabit it: hardy, independent, passionate, hardheaded, sometimes a little crazy.
“A Book of Fields may be the best book I have reviewed this year.” – Tinky Weisblat, Hampshire Gazette
I live in Deerfield, Massachusetts. I’m married and have a daughter who is in law school at Case Western Reserve in the area of international law.
Besides the thrill of writing, I have enjoyed many backpacking trips to the Grand Canyon and the Sierra Nevada range. I have dedicated myself to the practice and teaching of Shintaido, a Japanese body movement and martial art. In 2006, my wife Bela Breslau and I created a special place – The Shintaido Farm – where we lived taught and studied Shintaido for 10 years. Since 2016, we have moved to town and while we continue to practice and teach Shintaido, we are also able to focus on writing and creative writing and business services.