Posts Tagged 'Two Rivers Wisconsin'

Fisherman’s Beach ebook goes live

Cover: Dan Parent. Photo: Thomas J. King.

CBR Press is proud to present this 50th Anniversary ebook edition of Fisherman’s Beach, the masterful debut novel by the late Wisconsin author and long-time Madison newspaper columnist and radio-host George Vukelich (1927-1995). Originally published in 1962 by St. Martin’s Press, Fisherman’s Beach charts the postwar struggles of a Catholic fishing clan in Two Rivers, Wisconsin headed by a dying patriarch, Old Man LeMere. Often at odds with his Irish wife, his five sons, not to mention his doctor and his priest, LeMere represents a tradition and moral force that seem to be breaking down around him. The enhanced 2012 ebook edition features a Foreword by Wisconsin State Journal columnist Doug Moe and photos of Two Rivers by photographer Thomas J. King. Bonus ebook supplements include biographical and critical essays on George Vukelich and Fisherman’s Beach by August Derleth and James P. Roberts. There are also discussion questions for book clubs and classrooms.

“I couldn’t be happier that on this, the 50th anniversary of the original publication of Fisherman’s Beach, Cambridge Book Review Press is bringing it to a new generation of readers.”—From the Foreword by Doug Moe, columnist for the Wisconsin State Journal, and author of Lords of the Ring: The Triumph and Tragedy of College Boxing’s Greatest Team.

“One of the best family novels of our time—not the family novel that moves from one generation to another … but the novel that is the portrait of the family seen at a time of crisis.”—August Derleth.

“This impressive first novel by George Vukelich has all the turbulence, surge, ebb and, sometimes, serenity of the great body of water which is its setting—Lake Michigan … Every character is as true as life.”—The Milwaukee Journal.

The Beach at Two Rivers, Wisconsin

“Without the wind, he thought, the sun would burn out a man’s brain on the open beach. But the fresh, constant breeze off the lake washed over them like cool water.”—from Fisherman’s Beach by George Vukelich. Lake Michigan beach at Two Rivers, Wisconsin. Photo: Thomas J. King.

Fisherman’s Beach: The E-Book Cover

Cover design: Dan Parent. Photo: Thomas J. King.

Here’s Dan Parent’s sharp cover design for Fisherman’s Beach, an ebook coming this spring from CBR Press. Originally published by St. Martin’s Press in 1962, the new ebook edition will mark the 50th anniversary of George Vukelich’s potent novel about a struggling Two Rivers, Wisconsin fishing family. The Milwaukee Journal said at the time, “This impressive first novel by George Vukelich has all the turbulence, surge, ebb and, sometimes, serenity of the great body of water which is its setting—Lake Michigan … Every character is as true as life.” The ebook edition features a new Foreword by Doug Moe, columnist for the Wisconsin State Journal and colleague and friend of Vukelich’s. Also included are photos of Two Rivers by photographer Thomas J. King. Watch for excerpts from Fisherman’s Beach forthcoming in Rosebud #52 (March 2012) and Madison Magazine (May 2012).

1962 edition of Fisherman’s Beach

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St. Martin’s Press edition (1962). Design: Tom O’Brien.

Pictured here is the cover to the 1962 St. Martin’s Press edition of Fisherman’s Beach by Wisconsin writer George Vukelich (1927-1995). Vukelich reprinted the novel in 1990 under his own North Country Press imprint, with a new cover, but using what appear to have been either the original printer’s plates of the inside pages or, more likely, newly shot photo-offset reproductions from the earlier edition. Cambridge Book Review Press is currently preparing an ebook edition of Fisherman’s Beach for release in spring 2012. The ebook will include a new introduction (by a Madison notable and Vukelich friend who we’re keeping a surprise for a while longer). Also included will be photos of Two Rivers, Wisconsin, where the novel is set, by fine arts photographer Thomas J. King. There’ll be additional supplemental material in the ebook, as well, such as a biographical sketch of George Vukelich by James P. Roberts, and a study guide that should make Fisherman’s Beach perfect for reading groups and classrooms.

Here’s the inside jacket copy from the 1962 edition:

Old Man LeMere was dying upstairs. He was a tough old gull, but nobody lives forever. Downstairs, Roger, his second son, was waiting to inherit the fisherman’s beach. He could not afford to wait long. The lamprey eels from the ocean were destroying the trout of Lake Michigan, and the fishermen were powerless to stop them. Also he was afraid of Germaine.

Germaine was the eldest son. He had left the family and the Church. He was a major, stationed in Europe, who had come home for the first time in many years when he heard of his father’s illness. The Old Man wanted Germaine to take over the beach. Roger—ambitious, brutal, suspicious—knew it and would not believe that Germaine wanted no part of the inheritance. Nor would Roger believe that Germaine had not come home to reclaim Ginny Dussault, Germaine’s high school sweetheart who, despairing of Gemaine’s return, had allowed Roger to become her lover.

From these elements George Vukelich has woven a first novel of astonishing power. He is a poet and his descriptions of the changing seasons on the lake shore of his native Wisconsin are woven with a lyricism too seldom found in contemporary writing. He is also a keen student of humanity—its frailties and its strengths. Fisherman’s Beach gives an unforgettable picture of a family of strong characters, closely united yet at war among themselves.

And here’s the back cover author’s photo and bio:

Author photo of George Vukelich from 1962. No photographer credited.

Mr. Vukelich is best known in Wisconsin as “Papa Hambone,” a disc jockey with the top rated night-time program in the Madison area. He writes “I’ve become a split personality to further a writing career. ‘Papa Hambone’ buys the groceries, meets the mortgage payments and maintains the menage; George Vukelich simply tries to write the best first novel of which he is capable.” George Vukelich also spent a year as a creative writing instructor at the University of Wisconsin, and another as a merchant seaman. His poetry and short stories have been published in many magazines, including The Atlantic Monthly and Botteghe Oscure.

Title page: North Country Press 1990.

Title Page: St. Martin Press 1962.

“Fisherman’s Beach” comes alive

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Two Rivers, Wisconsin. Photo: Thomas J. King.

Photographer Thomas J. King has captured some spectacular images from his visit last week to Two Rivers, Wisconsin, the setting for George Vukelich’s 1962 novel, Fisherman’s Beach. King’s work will grace an ebook edition of Vukelich’s novel that CBR Press is publishing next spring.

The Two Rivers, Wisconsin lighthouse tower was built in 1886 and stood at the end of a pier on Lake Michigan. It was decommissioned in 1969 and rests today at the Rogers Street Fishing Village & Museum in Two Rivers.

Recall: A Short Story

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Caffeine & Other Stories by Bob Wake

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