Tag Archives: Fred McGavran

Fred McGavran on WVXU

Check out this interview with Fred McGavran, author of the 2007 St. Lawrence Book Award winner The Butterfly Collector, on WVXU.

The Long and the Short

There are two new reviews of Fred McGavran’s The Butterfly Collector. The one from Neon is short and sweet. The one from The Truth About Lies is also sweet, but not so short. We’re happy to report that these butterflies are continuing to delight.

Humor and Strewn Body Parts: Hayden’s Ferry on The Butterfly Collector

It’s official: the critics love Fred McGavran. His short story collection The Butterfly Collector has been receiving great reviews. (Ahem, ahem, ahem.) And now there’s another one, just posted yesterday by the good people at Hayden’s Ferry. Here are some of our favorite sections from the review:

Fred McGavran’s horror exhibits an unusual but effective component of compassion, and his compassion is redolent with irony, wry wit, and not a little slapstick.

I see McGavran as a humorist. I will go so far as to compare him to David Sedaris, though they have nothing in common with the exception that they have both written very funny Christmas stories. David Sedaris’ Six to “Eight Black Men” is read aloud annually during my Christmas celebration, and now so will McGavran’s “The Annunciation of Charles Spears.”

Thanks to Debrah Lechner for the great review. You can read it in its entirety here. We’re very pleased to know that one of Fred’s stories will now be a part of her holiday tradition!

The Butterfly Collector, which won the 2007 St. Lawrence Book Award, is available from Black Lawrence Press and Amazon.

A Writing Style Both Lyrical and Bloody Shocking

Check out this great new review of The Butterfly Collector written by Gloria MacKay for Bonzer!.

Fred McGavran collects writing awards like a lepidopterist collects butterflies—lots of ‘em: Raymond Carver Award, 2003; John Reid /Tom Howard Contest, 2004; Writers Digest Short Story Contest (for the best horror story) 2007;  St. Lawrence Book Award for The Butterfly Collector in 2008; and last year, an Individual Achievement Award from the Ohio Arts Council.

And writing is not his day job. Mr. McGavran, a graduate of Harvard Law School, practices law in Cincinnati. He represents veterans and defends psychiatric malpractice claims, but also sustains a reputation as writer comparable to John Grisham. Law Professor M.H. Hoffheimer says, “These stories are required reading for lawyers with a sense of humor and all devotees of the art of short fiction.”

The Butterfly Collector is a collection of fifteen short stories, ranging from wacky to pedestrian to weird, clustered behind a scintillating cover of butterflies, all colors, sizes and shapes. What’s inside?  A writing style both lyrical and bloody shocking. An imagination which flutters from kinky to surreal to mundane. A wry, unsettling view of how much evil even the most benign of characters can stir up.

By the end of the book – which I did not really want to finish but found difficult to put down – a reluctant, slowly evolving respect emerged for the author’s ability to tweak us into a new way of looking at ourselves.

The Butterfly Collector is available from Black Lawrence Press and Amazon.

Truly Disturbing, Irresistibly Unsettling, Eerily Humorous

The “Opening Lines” section of the Summer, 2010 Kenyon Alumni News, features the first few sentences of  “A Friend of Bill Gillen” from The Butterfly Collector by Fred McGavran, winner of the St. Lawrence Book Award. In the review that follows the opening lines, the book as a whole is called “truly disturbing”, “irresistibly unsettling”, and “eerily humorous”.

You can get your copy of The Butterfly Collector from the BLP website or from Amazon.


The St. Lawrence Book Award Early Bird Special

Black Lawrence Press is now accepting submissions for the 2010 St. Lawrence Book Award, an annual award that is given for an unpublished collection of short stories or poems. The St. Lawrence Book Award is open to any writer who has not yet published a full-length collection of short stories or poems. The winner of this contest will receive book publication, a $1,000 cash award, and ten copies of the book. Prizes are awarded on publication.

Previous winners of The St. Lawrence Book Award include Marcel Jolley, Stefi Weisburd, Jason Tandon, Fred McGavran, and Yelizaveta P. Renfro. Last year’s winner was Brad Ricca.

The entry fee for the prize is $25 and the deadline is August 31, 2010.

Because we know that many writers have been hit especially hard by the economic downturn, we are offering a fantastic early bird special. If you submit your manuscript to The St. Lawrence Book Award before June 30, 2010, we will only charge you the price of one of our titles. The choice is yours. Most of our titles are priced between $14 and $18. (And we carry great chapbooks that are only $9!)

Here’s how it works:

1) Go to www.blacklawrencepress.com.

2) Click on the “Books” button on the left side of the page.

3) Order a title that interests you.

4) Shortly after placing your order, you will receive an email from Paypal with your receipt. Keep that for your records. Don’t worry about forwarding it to us; we can cross-check everything on our end.

5) Send your cover letter and manuscript to editors@blacklawrencepress.com before June 30, 2010. In your cover letter, note the title that you purchased.

6) That’s it!

We look forward to reading your submissions!

-The Black Lawrence Press Team

Meet Fred McGavran

Fred McGavran, author of The Butterfly Collector, has two events coming up this month.

He will be signing copies of his book after the 10:00 service on Sunday, May 23rd at Christ Church Cathedral in downtown Cincinnati. The Butterfly Collector is available at The Cathedral Shop. Christ Church Cathedral is located at 318 East Fourth Street.

He will also be featured during the Local Authors Night at Joseph Beth Bookstore in Cincinnati, Ohio at 7:00 PM on Tuesday, May 25th. Joseph Beth is located at 2692 Madison Road.

The Butterfly Collector, which won the 2007 St. Lawrence Book Award,  is full of people you know: a beautician, a lawyer, a man with Alzheimer’s who takes his first nightcap at three in the afternoon. But each of these thoroughly knowable protagonists is faced with a situation that causes them to become extraordinary. In these stories, Fred McGavran is both author and investigator, out to prove that every person has at least one really good story to tell.

If you can’t make it to either of these events, you can also get a copy of the book from Amazon or Black Lawrence Press.

Two New Reviews

The Write Place At the Write Time has reviewed Pulleys and Locomotion by Rachel Galvin and The Butterfly Collector by Fred McGavran. According to the reviews, Rachel Galvin “…shines through in sophistication with all of the exciting grandeur reminiscent of the invention and innovation present in the early twentieth century.” McGavran is called “a fine contemporary voice to join modern literature.” You can read the entire reviews here.

Fred McGavran and the Art from Art Anthology

Fred McGavran, author of The Butterfly Collector, has had a story accepted for the Art from Art Anthology which is forthcoming from Modernist Press. You can read more about the anthology here.

The Butterfly Collector, Winner of The St. Lawrence Book Award

Black Lawrence Press is pleased to announce the publication of The Butterfly Collector by Fred McGavran.

The Butterfly Collector is full of people you know: a beautician, a lawyer, a man with Alzheimer’s who takes his first nightcap at three in the afternoon. But each of these thoroughly knowable protagonists is faced with a situation that causes them to become extraordinary. In these stories, Fred McGavran is both author and investigator, out to prove that every person has at least one really good story to tell.

Fred McGavran won the 2007 St. Lawrence Book Award for The Butterfly Collector. He has also won the 2007 Writers Digest Short Story Contest in the horror category, the 2004 John Reid/Tom Howard Contest, and the 2003 Raymond Carver Award from Humboldt State University. He won an Individual Achievement Award from the Ohio Arts Council in 2009. He has a B.A. in English from Kenyon College, is a graduate of Harvard Law School, and was an officer in the Navy in Vietnam. He defends psychiatric malpractice claims and represents veterans in claims against the Veterans Administration in Cincinnati, Ohio.  He is a candidate for ordination as a deacon in the Episcopal Diocese of Southern Ohio. His stories have appeared in or are forthcoming from numerous publications including Pearl Magazine, Rosebud, Gray’s Sporting Journal, Dreams & Visions, Storyglossia, Short Story International, and the Harvard Review.

The Butterfly Collector is available from Black Lawrence Press and Amazon.

Please contact Diane Goettel and diane@blacklawrencepress.com for media inquiries and review copies. Fred McGavran is available for readings and speaking engagements.

Black Lawrence Press titles are distributed by Consortium. For more information, visit cbsd.com.

A collection of gems. By day Fred McGavran is a highly regarded Harvard-educated lawyer. By moonlight he crafts page-turners that draw on his deep experience with law and life…McGavran’s masterly writing invited comparison with John Grisham. But stir in Stephen King and Kafka–and an eye for the absurd, an ear for dialog and a wicked sense of humor. McGavran ranks as a top lawyer-writer. His abiding concern with moral values reaches into literary traditions that include the best of Melville, Chekhov, and Graham Greene. His stories go down smoothly, but they linger and haunt…These stories are required reading for law-and-lit fans, lawyers with a sense of humor and all devotees of the art of short fiction. -Michale H. Hoffheimer, Proffesor of Law, University of Mississippi

Fred McGavran’s The Butterfly Collector is sardonic, erudite, and unexpectedly frightening. He will leave you wanting more. -P.F. Kluge, Writer in Residence at Kenyon College and author of Gone Tomorrow and other novels

Fred McGavran’s first collection of short fiction, The Butterfly Collector, etches the American haute bourgeoise with satire that stings in carefully observed detail but then predictably swerves into generous invention. The world he works with is O’Hara’s and Updike’s suburbia, mildly Midwestern, citified–but populated by lawyers, priests, occasionally therapists and academics, most of them aging badly, few of them attractive to women. His Dickensian devastation of the law, updated with voir dire, takes turns with magical realism. McGavran writes about memory, often about an unfortunate inability to remember selectively. Things keep coming back–submarines that rise years later to disgorge their dead or, elsewhere, unkillable bears and stags. Oddly dismembered limbs run through his stories, metaphors for what travels uselessly. -Britton J. Harwood, Professor of English, Miami University

The Butterfly Collector takes one into a kind of nether world in which the seemingly ordinary serves as a doorway to another, stranger dimension. The dead return to life to confound their heirs…well-heeled suburbanites hunt deer with home-made spears across the broad expanses of their lawns…a man retreats into silence when he realizes how colorless his life has been. There is a sense of loss at the core of many of the characters that we meet in these pages but there is also humor and insight! -John K. Brackett, Associate Professor of History, University of Cincinnati and author of Criminal Justice and Crime in Late Renaissance Florence