SALISBURY — Secant Publishing of Salisbury is releasing The Night Is Young, a new collection of short stories and sketches by award-winning novelist and short story writer Barbara Lockhart. She has scheduled a book signing for Saturday, November 26, from 10 am – 2 pm, at The News Center in Easton. She also will appear 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday, December 3at Sundial Books in Chincoteague.
Suffused with lyricism and sensitive to the human condition, many of Lockhart’s stories capture the flavor of small town and rural Eastern Shore. While her characters are tied to the reality of the moment, their stories are about the secret life of the heart’s yearning.
In First Green Shoots, an elderly woman decides to return to her love of painting to try to capture the image of her deceased daughter. Filled with her memories, yet unable to begin, she shuts herself off in her room.
The silence in her room was an old friend she had been waiting to see for a long time. She wanted to nest in her memories but also to swoop back and forth through the years with twigs of this and that and make something new. The paint tubes were stiff, but the colors were brilliant.
In The Fox Fling, a woman donating her deceased son’s clothing to a vintage clothing store discovers a fur wrap that reminds her of community dances she used to enjoy with her late husband. She wears it to a tea dance over on the Western Shore, where a series of three-minute waltzes with anonymous partners afford a tantalizing glimpse of happiness:
She saw that just for this moment, she was saved from the sea of yesterdays that held so much sorrow. Now there were only the dancers sweeping her along in the culture of the waltz as they circled. Skirts flared. Faces flushed. Dusk had settled in at the windows and the soft lights made everyone young and beautiful.
In The Trunk, a divorced wife forces herself to welcome her ex-husband and his new wife to the Christmas table with their children and grandchildren; but her easy familiarity with their family’s likes and dislikes, and her ex-husband’s growing estrangement and discomfort, almost lead her to feel sorry for him.
She couldn’t remember any other time when she’d gotten him, but there was no triumph in it, only an old, persistent grief.
Lockhart is known for her ability to mine the rich ore of Eastern Shore history and culture. Her 2013 historical novel, Elizabeth’s Field, tells of the story of a free woman of African American and Indian descent and her struggle to hold onto a piece of land in the 1850s. It was recognized with a silver medal from the Independent Book Publishers Awards. Lockhart has also been the recipient of two Individual Artist Awards in Fiction from the Maryland State Arts Council for her short stories and Requiem for a Summer Cottage.
About The Night Is Young
Published in trade paperback, The Night Is Young is 220 pages long. It sells for $16.95 and is available from Ingram and Amazon and select local bookstores, including The News Center in Easton. It will also be available in e-book format from all major online retailers for $6.99.
About Barbara Lockhart
A native of New York City, Barbara Lockhart lives on a nature preserve on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. She is a graduate of the MFA Program in Creative Writing at Vermont College and has authored and co-authored four children’s books and a nationwide program for the teaching of children’s literature, Read to me, Talk with me. Her short stories have appeared in such venues as Indiana Review, The Greensboro Review and Pleiades.
About Secant Publishing
Based in Salisbury, Secant Publishing is committed to discovering and publishing works of enduring quality in both fiction and nonfiction. See www.secantpublishing.com.