Blackbriar Press is proud to announce the publication of The Last Will and Testament of Lemuel Higgins by Patrick J. O'Connor, currently scheduled for release in November 2011.
Lemuel Higgins, a high school pitching phenom in rural upstate New York circa ’77, has the world on a string: a promising spot in the Yankees farm organization and a beautiful young wife, Sarah, with whom he’s creating a new home and family. Five years later, he’s a broken man, abandoned by Sarah and their young son, wasting away from a new disease called AIDS. Fortunately, he still holds a compelling voice that rings through his last will and testament, penned to make amends to Sarah and their son, Danny. Lem’s alternately sheepish and brash memoir revisits might-have-beens undone by self-destructive impulses. Despite two successful big-league starts and a “Lem Higgins Day” parade in his hometown of East Angler, his bright future is snuffed out when the death of his estranged father sends him into a downward spiral of booze and brawling. He duly plumbs the whiskey-soaked depths, destroying his baseball career and his family, before he is resurrected by his brother-in-law, Joby, to attempt a late-inning save that will require a very grisly sacrifice.
Kirkus Reviews called O'Connor's debut novel "a luminous evocation of a hardscrabble community and landscape [that] lends resonance to [a tale of] dissolution and remorse." O'Connor writes in "a stylish, pungent prose and crafts magnetic characters, especially in Lem’s brother-in-law Joby, a flinty, salt-of-the-earth farmer struggling to save his land."
Don't miss this exciting debut novel from what is surely a new and powerful voice in American letters.
Blackbriar Press is currently scheduling Mr. O'Connor for author interviews in early 2012. Please direct any inquiries to promotion (at) blackbriarpress (dot) com.