Strange Attractors book launch with Janice Deal & Fred Shafer

In Janice Deal's linked story collection STRANGE ATTRACTORS, everyday people navigate the uncertainties of life in the American heartland, seeking order in chaos with a very human mix of resilience and folly. At first glance, the fictional Ephrem, Illinois, seems a friendly, familiar town: it draws you right in, even if you don't need supplies at the mall or a snack at Brat Station. But as you come closer, you discover people who are complex and unpredictable. Life itself is capricious, and loneliness can turn a person strange. Past traumas linger. Illness sometimes falls like a hammer. Yet there's much affection here, small and large examples of human kindness. For years, Janice Deal has been publishing these award-winning stories about Ephrem. Now assembled for the first time, these extraordinary tales offer a masterful snapshot of life in today's small-town America.

Janice will be joined by local writer, editor and teacher Fred Shafer. 


Janice Deal is the author of a novel, The Sound of Rabbits (Regal House, 2023), and two short story collections: The Decline of Pigeons (Queen’s Ferry, 2013), and a linked collection, Strange Attractors (New Door Books, 2023). The Decline of Pigeons was a Flannery O’Connor Award finalist. The Sound of Rabbits was a finalist for both the Many Voices Project annual competition and the Black Lawrence Press Big Moose Prize. Stories from Strange Attractors won The Moth Short Story Prize and the Cagibi Macaron Prize. Janice has also received an Illinois Arts Council Artists Fellowship Award for prose. She lives with her husband in the Chicago area.

Fred Shafer is a literary editor, writer, and teacher of writing. He was an editor with TriQuarterly, the international literary journal published by Northwestern University, where he taught fiction writing in the School of Professional Studies for many years. 

Event date: 
Thursday, September 28, 2023 - 6:00pm to 7:00pm
Event address: 
1620 Orrington Ave.
Evanston, IL 60201
Strange Attractors: The Ephrem Stories By Janice Deal Cover Image
Email or call for information
ISBN: 9781735558547
Published: New Door Books - September 12th, 2023