Airstream Dispatches Reads Christine Maul Rice

Christine Maul Rice

photo credit Joe Mazza

In Swarm Theory, Christine Maul Rice writes of  “life’s amazing contradictions—the wonderful and the profane, devotion and infidelity, understanding and revenge—through stories told from different perspectives” and I’m excited to include this award-winning book in the Airstream Dispatches line up. Recently, Swarm Theory has received accolades including the Chicago Writers Association Book of the Year Award (Honorable Mention), Independent Publisher Book Award (Silver for Best First Book), and a National Indie Excellence Award – Winner (Regional Fiction – Midwest).

Why are we reading this book? To me, the question is actually: Why this author, because the book is a no-brainer (of COURSE I want to read it!). Christine’s name has been in my ear for years, and although we’ve even been in the same room for the same book launch, we’ve never actually gotten to shake hands and meet. But time and again, I’ve heard from writers whose work she champions in HYPERTEXT magazine, and championing is exactly what Airstream Dispatches is all about.

Note that I don’t say “coddling.” As a mentor to serious writers, I do believe that it’s possible (and important) to point out what’s successful in every piece of writing that I critique. But I think that coddling can be damaging. Expert writers and instructors know the difference, and they know how to create a space where challenge and growth are possible, alongside acceptance and support. I see Christine doing that darn near everywhere she leaves her literary handprint, and I strive for the same in the Airstream Dispatches community.

During the process of choosing books and authors I was curious about which independent bookstore the author loved and why. Here’s what Christine Maul Rice had to say: “If Airstream Dispatches wasn’t an international endeavor, I would point you to the indie book stores I love: Women & Children First, or the Book Cellar, or Roscoe Books. Since this program is online, it is probably best to buy Swarm Theory from Powell’s, or directly from my publisher. Powell’s has free shipping!” 

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