Spindle City

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Product Details

Blackstone Publishing
Publish Date
6.3 X 9.0 X 1.1 inches | 1.2 pounds

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About the Author

Jotham Burrello is a writer, teacher, publisher, farmer, and multimedia producer. He is the author of the Writers' e-Handbook and producer of So, Is It Done? Navigating the Revision Process. Other writing has appeared in literary journals, the Christian Science Monitor, and he's a proud winner of the New Yorker Caption Contest. He teaches writing at Central Connecticut State University, directs the Yale Writers' Workshop and the Connecticut Literary Festival, curates the Roar Reading Series, and is the publisher of the award-winning Elephant Rock Books. He and his wife raise boys and flowers on Muddy Feet Flower Farm in Ashford, Connecticut.


"In Spindle City, a delicately embroidered novel stitched with intrigue, author Jotham Burrello reimagines the early twentieth-century heyday of Fall River, Massachusetts, through the rise and fall of textile manufacturer Joseph Bartlett--a man beset by two wayward sons, the winds of labor agitation, and a secret he carries like a millstone. From the Portuguese laborers on the shop floors to the Yankee Brahmins in the city's exclusive Highlands, Burrello captures the bustling spirit, complex social mores, and cutthroat underbelly of a lost world with a pitch-perfect ear and a generous heart. For those who enjoy their literary fiction with a historical weave, Spindle City rivals the best of E. L. Doctorow or A. S. Byatt. A stunning, stylish debut from an author who has mastered both the nuances of William Howard Taft's America and the intricacies of the human condition."

-- "Jacob M. Appel, author of The Liars' Asylum, Millard Salter's Last Day, and many others"

"Love, friendship, thievery, abuse, robber barons, rotten teeth, the smell of hot nuts at a summer parade, and the decline of the great New England textile mills: Spindle City has it all. A delight to the intellect, the emotions, and the senses."

-- "Emily Barton, author of Brookland and The Book of Esther"

"In Spindle City, New England of a century ago is reborn a riot of cotton bales and quahog bushels, toboggan rides and Model Ts. Whether we find ourselves amidst the euphoria of a city-wide carnival or within the hearts of his grieving, striving characters, Jotham Burrello isolates, in the particularities of this lost world, timeless lessons about loyalty, ambition, and human resilience. A roaring debut."

-- "Nathaniel Rich, author of King Zeno and Odds against Tomorrow"

"In the grand tradition of E. L. Doctorow and Paula McLain, Jotham Burello's assured debut novel blends historical reality with invention as he creates textile mill owner Joseph Bartlett, who stands astride a world on the narrow edge of dangerous change. Even as Bartlett revels in his prosperity, he mourns his dying wife, and as union agitators are pitted against bosses, his sons are overtaken by the horrors of World War I. What could be a catalog of momentous events springs to life as Burrello infuses his characters with passion and humanity."

-- "Jacquelyn Mitchard, author of The Deep End of the Ocean"