Book signing Friday features Brian Ray

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Book signing during Night Out
Brian Ray, winner of the inaugural South Carolina First Novel Prize sponsored by the South Carolina Arts Commission, will be at Literary Bookpost signing his prize-winning novel, “Through the Pale Door,” during Kids’ Night Out on the Town, Friday, 7-9 p.m. Originally from Georgia, Ray teaches writing at UNC-Greensboro.
Sarah West has finally finished high school, finally become an adult who can leave her dysfunctional family to study art at Emory. In order to afford school, though, Sarah must first leave her overly-emotional, schizophrenic mother in Georgia to join her emotionless, workaholic father in South Carolina for a summer of work in a steel mill.
It’s during Sarah’s first day at the mill that she sees the work of a mysterious serial muralist who has managed to bring art to the dusty grime of the steel industry. It’s on her second day that she meets Edgewood, the artist.
With Edgewood, Sarah has a partner in discussing and creating art, a friend her age at work, and the confidence boosting they both need. Summer is going better than anyone could have expected until news reaches Sarah that her mother has died.
Sarah’s art is blocked while she is haunted by the memories of a woman who lived often in her own world, often in an institution. But, tragedy stops for no man, and Sarah must learn to calm her demons, nurture her relationships, and accept her art.
Ray’s novel is one of love, art and loss. Sarah’s story is sprinkled throughout with art history, and Ray manages to paint and sculpt beautiful masterpieces for the reader.
“Through the Pale Door” is not only great for adults, it’s also suitable for mature young adults. Inappropriate language is used sparsely and in appropriate context.