"Benediction" Wins First Place, Gay/Lesbian Fiction, in Reader Views 2009 Literary Awards

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Jim Arnold’s Novel “Benediction” Also Finalist in Foreword Magazine’s Book of the Year Contest

“Benediction,” Jim Arnold’s acclaimed novel about a middle-aged gay man’s darkly humorous journey with prostate cancer, has won First Place in the 2009 Reader Views Literary Awards in the Gay/Lesbian fiction category. (“Benediction” ISBN 9781439248577, Eureka Street Press, 2009).

The annual Reader Views literary awards were established to honor writers who self-published or had their books published by a subsidy publisher, small press, university press, or independent book publisher geared for the North American reading audience.

Additionally, Benediction is a finalist in the Foreword Magazine 2009 Book of the Year Awards (Gay/Lesbian fiction category). The Foreword finalists, representing 360 publishers, were selected from 1,400 entries in 60 categories. Gold, Silver, and Bronze winners, as well as Editor's Choice Prizes for Fiction and Nonfiction, will be announced at a special program at BookExpo America in New York on May 25, 2010.

ForeWord's Book of the Year Awards program was designed to discover distinctive books from independent publishers across a number of genres. For a full list of the finalists searchable by category, publisher, title, and author, visit http://www.bookoftheyearawards.com.

“Benediction” is a dark-comedy that anyone middle-aged, gay or straight, will appreciate. Rather than another novel about a gay man with AIDS, Ben Schmidt’s prostate cancer embraces a larger male audience, showing a human and universal side to a gay man. Ben’s romantic escapades are the gay equivalent of heterosexual male characters with healthy sexual appetites out of the pages of Philip Roth or John Updike. The novel’s humor and use of the supernatural add spice and a surreal vision to questions of life, love and death. Brutally honest yet beautifully insightful, “Benediction” is a debut novel to be read, remembered, and read again.

Reviewer C.B. James says: “Mr. Arnold understands that a novel like Benediction lives or dies on how much sympathy the reader has for the narrator. The book takes the reader to some fairly dark places and then makes a few jokes about the trip. If we don't like the narrator, we're not going to see the trip through to its end. I liked Ben Schmidt. His life is messy. The way he treats his cancer is messy. His illness doesn't lead to an epiphany; it just makes everything worse. But Ben's sense of humor, which was there all along, sees the reader through to the end of the book. I have this feeling that ‘Benediction’ by Jim Arnold may end up on my favorite reads of 2010 list.” (readywhenyouarecb.blogspot.com)

About the Author
Jim Arnold is the author/director of feature film screenplays and teleplays including the documentary short “Our Brothers, Our Sons,” about generational differences around HIV/AIDS in gay men. Jim has written for “Frontiers,” “Variety,” “Prime Health & Fitness” and other periodicals and fiction anthologies. He began his career in musical theatre and holds a BA in journalism and film from Marquette University. He has studied film production/writing in the MFA program at the University of Southern California, the Writers Program at UCLA, and at Film Arts Foundation in San Francisco. “Benediction” is his debut novel.

“Benediction” (ISBN 9781439248577, Eureka Street Press, 2009) can be purchased through local and online bookstores, in paperback and e-book form. For more information, visit http://www.EurekaStreetPress.com. Publicity contact: http://www.ReaderViews.com. Review copies available upon request.


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