FICTIONAL RETELLING OF THE NEW TESTAMENT EXPLORES THE MESSIAH’S LIFE ON THE SHORES OF NORTHERN WISCONSIN
Apostle Islands by Tommy Zurhellen
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 11, 2012
ADVANCE PRAISE FOR APOSTLE ISLANDS
Like the miracles he depicts in Apostle Islands, Tommy Zurhellen’s new novel is a gift of wonder and audacity. It is also deviously funny. Read it with his first novel, Nazareth, North Dakota, and consider yourself saved.
—BRUCE MURKOFF, author of Red Rain and Waterborne
Poignant, funny, and beautifully written, Apostle Islands is a big-hearted story and that rarest of books—a profound page turner. I loved it.
—SUZANNE MORRISON, author of Yoga Bitch
MINNEAPOLIS, MN —Tommy Zurhellen continues his present-day retelling of Jesus’ life in Apostle Islands (Atticus Books, $14.95, September 2012), his much-anticipated sequel to the story of the modern Messiah begun in Nazareth, North Dakota (Atticus Books, $14.95, April 2011).
To research the sequel, Zurhellen camped on Lake Superior’s real-life Apostle Islands off the coast of Wisconsin’s Bayfield Peninsula. Zurhellen says setting his playful take on the New Testament in the upper Midwest was a natural move. “Since Sam grows up in North Dakota, it’s logical to have him find his followers at the nearest ‘sea,’ which is Lake Superior. Apostle Islands is very much a water book.”
Inspired by the Apostle Islands of the novel’s title, Zurhellen picks up Sam’s story as he emerges from forty days and nights in the North Dakotan Badlands. Sam is ready to find his fishers of men, save wedding receptions, and cure cancer patients even though his radical ideas have the FBI breathing down his neck.
Zurhellen, who grew up Catholic, notes that “Christianity [today] looks so much different than it did 2,000 years ago” but that the Bible continues to offer modern readers “stories of hope, betrayal, war, [and] romance.” On the heels of the Messiah’s early life as re-imagined in his debut novel Nazareth, North Dakota, Apostle Islands offers readers a fresh, irreverent take on the many familiar faces and stories of the New Testament.
With the unique position religion holds in contemporary American life and politics, will we see Sam voting in this year’s presidential election? Zurhellen says it’s unlikely because Sam “doesn’t care too much about elections. He knows his life is part of a bigger story, one that doesn’t care if you come from a state that is red or blue.”
Apostle Islands arrives in bookstores September 25.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Tommy Zurhellen was born in New York City. Apostle Islands is the sequel to Nazareth, North Dakota, his debut novel.
PRAISE FOR NAZARETH, NORTH DAKOTA
Zurhellen takes the reader joy riding—in beat-up pick-up trucks and run-down vans and on marauding motorcycles—into familiar and surprising territory…
—WASHINGTON INDEPENDENT REVIEW OF BOOKS
Zurhellen’s masterful dialogue often makes for gripping scenes that sustain these characters for decades.
More than just a clever reimagining of the New Testament, Nazareth, North Dakota is an epic tale in its own right…”
—NEW YORK JOURNAL OF BOOKS
[S]imply outstanding…This is the kind of book that will sit at the forefront of your mind for days…
Atticus Books is a multimedia press that specializes in literary fiction. Atticus is run by founder and publisher Dan Cafaro and assistant editor Libby O’Neill. Visit us on the web at https://atticusbooks.net/.
Press Contact: Lacey N. Dunham
laceyd [at] atticusbooks [dot] net
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