Teens: Dumping Patriarchy with Reckless Abandon -- As If

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American teens, refusing to be dumbed down any longer, are submitting essays for scholarships in the first annual Avar Press Scholarship Competition. Seeking cash as well as publication, they are analyzing D.J. Solomon’s “Xen: Ancient English Edition,” which dumps the status quo of our patriarchy with reckless abandon. According to Avar Press CEO, Melissa Kaufman, rising US high school juniors and seniors are naturally identifying with the issues of animal rights, torture, racism, war, propaganda, consumerism, and sex.

“A satirical allegory where the weather’s mastered and the battle of the sexes has been settled for good.” So says a review by the Wilmington Star-News about “Xen.” This novel from the future is the tale of misanthropic scientist, Pawkey Seneschal, his struggle to overcome his -- and all of mankind's -- innate xenophobia. Second time author, D.J. Solomon, a Stanford M.D. who has a private practice in rural North Carolina has publicly pledged 10% of all proceeds from “Xen” to charitable concerns. In lieu of specific bequests for 2005, he persuaded Avar Press to sponsor a scholarship competition for high school students, to recognize outstanding teens.

The response has been inspiring, particularly given the Press’s stated caveat about the book: because of the advanced vocabulary and uncensored nature of the characters’ thoughts, this novel is not recommended for teens under the age of 16. It is empowered by a rich vocabulary and sprinkled with strong language. But the novel will be embraced by humanitarians, pacifists, libertarians, feminists, utopians, anti-racists, animal rights activists, and the counter culture science fiction community.

The Scholarship Competition, announced last November, is open to all US high school students who will be juniors or seniors in the academic year beginning in the fall of 2006 including homeschoolers. The first place winner will receive $500, second place $250, and third place $100. Matching awards will be awarded to the high schools. All winning essays will be published. Essays must be no longer than 1500 words and must be received before June 30, 2006. Winners will be announced by September 1, 2006.

Complete details can be obtained from the Avar Press website or by mail: P.O. Box 1993, Whiteville, NC 28472. "Xen," now in a second printing, may be obtained from traditional and online retailers as well as from school and public libraries.

About the author:

D.J. Solomon is a Stanford M.D., Brandeis Phi Beta Kappa, and Westinghouse Science Talent Search Scholarship winner. He has a private practice in rural North Carolina. “Xen” is his first novel, second book, the first published in 1979 by W.B. Saunders, when he was 25. He lives with two dogs and has three children. He has several works in various stages of development, both fiction and non-fiction.

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