“The Charles Pavlick Memorial Library was located in front of the computer center and stood parallel with my dorm, though separated by a football field-sized lawn. I entered through the rear and was assaulted instantly by mugginess. Students anxious to get a jump on their work would do so at the risk of heat stroke.
I went through the front lobby, past the check out and information desks, and turned left down the wide center aisle. Sunlight streamed through a row of high, rectangular windows on the south wall, giving the space a dusty, heavenly appearance. The carpeted main room was unoccupied and stood in stark contrast to the metallic, two-story sidecar section that housed the majority of the books. I walked among the stacks perusing titles, noticing an abundance of religious and political texts. Finally, upstairs, I found the meager collection of fiction. I scanned the rows, zeroing in on the works of J.D. Salinger. Two years earlier, while still nestled in the heart of high school in Pittsburgh, I read ‘The Catcher in the Rye’ for the first time. It became the language of our small group in Senior English, often quoted and openly revered. It stood now as a symbol of lost security. I retrieved a copy and sat down at the nearest desk.
When I looked up, I noticed a thin, wiry student writing furiously at the table to my right. His left hand supported his tilting head, fingers buried in the disheveled black strands. He wore faded jeans, a faded black T-shirt and faded black boots. His flexed left biceps gave his writing the appearance of an athletic activity. He glanced in my direction and I returned my attention to the world of Holden Caulfield’s New York City.”
Published August 2006
A literary novel in the spirit of Gatsby and Holden Caulfield.
It’s Dan Finbar’s freshman year and he’s struggling to find his proper place in Harrison College. When he finally breaks through into the world of notorious loner Ransom Seaborn, their friendship is brutally cut short, leaving Finbar with nothing but Ransom’s old leather journal and his sometime girlfriend Maggie. As Finbar and Maggie investigate the journal – and Ransom’s soul – their discoveries illuminate the dark depths of the human heart and they find that what glitters is indeed sometimes gold.
Ransom Seaborn is beyond memorable–it’s haunting. I was still thinking about it days later and poised to open it and start again. It’s simply beautiful.” –2006 Needle Award Judge