MacLeish Sq.


Product Details

$16.95  $15.76
Red Hen Press
Publish Date
4.9 X 7.9 X 0.6 inches | 0.5 pounds

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About the Author

Dennis Must is the author of three novels: Brother Carnival (Red Hen Press 2018), Hush Now, Don't Explain (Coffeetown Press 2014), and The World's Smallest Bible (Red Hen Press 2014); as well as three short story collections: Going Dark (Coffeetown Press 2016), Oh, Don't Ask Why (Red Hen Press 2007), and Banjo Grease (Creative Arts Book Company 2000 and Red Hen Press 2019). He won the 2014 Dactyl Foundation Literary Fiction Award for Hush Now, Don't Explain; in addition, a was a finalist in the 2019 Next Generation Indie Book Awards for Banjo Grease, the 2016 International Book Awards for Going Dark, and the 2014 USA Best Book Award in Literary Fiction for The World's Smallest Bible. A member of the Authors Guild, his plays have been produced off-off-Broadway. He resides with his wife in Salem, Massachusetts.


"MacLeish Sq. approaches mythic status in which time, character, past, present, alive, dead--just a few of the literary polarities inhabiting this writing--interact at a level no reader can accept without relinquishing his/her own sense of person and being. Interweaving Dante, Melville, Hawthorne, and Pirandello into a single narrative that seizes the essence of each, Must puts them together with such skill that the author lives on par with the masters. It will take an honest reader to admit--I have never read anything like this."

--Jack Remick, author of Gabriela and the Widow

"MacLeish Sq. is a compelling psychological novel about personal identity, about loss, about delusion, and about the power of literature, of story, to make sense of one's life. This is a world of lost souls. In a work heavily imbued with the irreal, reminiscent at times of Poe, Must's two doppelganger protagonists, fractured and alienated, wrestle with their haunted pasts in pursuit of authentic selfhood. A masterful work of fiction."

--Jack Smith, author of If Winter Comes

"The novel's surreal atmosphere is grounded
by mundane details, as of the hot tea that John offers Eli upon his arrival, and the rabbit's foot charm dangling from
the rearview mirror of a ghostly vehicle. It includes a vibrant, spectral portrait of New England, with icy winters, bowls
of chowder, and visions of 'holy men' wearing 'whale-bone amulets.' Within a flow of keen recollections and displaced spirits, MacLeish Sq. is the story of a man approaching the 'final
trimester' of his being."

--Meg Nola, Foreword Reviews

"Edward Said, writing about Beethoven's late style, defined late style as that time wherein the artist freed from the expected cultural and historical restraints of form and content unleashes a newness that both confounds and instructs. Dennis Must has achieved that hour of newness in MacLeish Sq. (Red Hen Press, 209 pages). With its visual complexities coupled to broad-ranging literary interconnections, Must's writing raises the text to a "beyond" state where the readers have to let go of what they know." --Dactyl Review

"The author's prose is as lyrical and absorbing as the tale. It is peppered with references to the works of Nathaniel Hawthorne and Herman Melville and unfolds one layer at a time. Intricate pencil illustrations by Russ Spitkovsky add yet another layer to the telling of this intriguing story. Fans of psychological novels will find this one enchanting. It will likely be a satisfying read for those who enjoy losing themselves in a mystical, spiritual, Faulkneresque story, complete with a surprising ending." --Glenda Vosburgh in The U.S. Review of Books

"MacLeish Sq. is a highly imaginative novel, stylistically brilliant, which contrasts the real with the irreal, the latter being the most compelling--and the most transformative." --Jack Smith, California Review of Books