Suspend Your Disbelief -- Read On!
Irving Place Editions is a micro-publisher based in Ithaca NY. It publishes novel-length fiction; non-fictional personal narrative; and, in exceptional cases, literary criticism (monograph), all by invitation. IPE titles are available through Amazon as POD paperbacks, and in some cases in eBook and/or hardcover format. Print editions may be obtained by special order through your local bookseller.
IPE is a home for unconventional books. Mixed genres, modernist structures, literary themes, competing narratives (and narrators), incursions of "real-world" elements into fictional texts and other features set IPE books apart from standard categories. All IPE titles are intelligent, crafted, sustained narratives as distinctive in form as they are in content. They challenge and surprise, disrupt readerly complacencies and, at times, provoke discomfort. Well-behaved novels and comfy non-fictions shun the environs of IPE. If you like works by writers such as Don DeLillo, Raymond Carver, Nick Tosches, Denis Johnson, John Updike, or Vladimir Nabokov, you will find something to like at IPE.
Our books are previewable on Amazon. If one sparks your interest here, visit its Amazon page and read the sample. If you find yourself drawn in, suspend your disbelief -- read on.
The China Plot
Anthony Sciascia arrives in Beijing as a person of interest to a beautiful Chinese spy. CIA and China's Ministry of State Security intend to play this unknown writer and his wife, Professor Riva Klein, as pawns in a Cold War-style propaganda gambit. Zhang Ailing, consummate double-agent and mistress of aliases, is the operative both agencies tap to execute their strangely complementary schemes.
Ailing's English-language fluency and personal beauty lure Anthony in. She makes sure he sees her reading one of his novels, then praises the book to his face. This "coincidence" occurs while Anthony is imagining a new novel set in China. His minute of fame seems to have arrived and his prospective "China novel" seems destined for success.
Greater outcomes, however, are at stake. Only Ailing's defiance of her MSS puppet-master — and some timely critical thinking by the Americans — can save Anthony and Riva from a catastrophic error no novel can redeem.
Sofie Timm is the bravest 12-year-old anyone has ever met — and only Dante Buonarroti knows it. At their middle school in Hollywood, Florida, during America's Bicentennial Year, Sofie and Dante become "special friends" despite their differences and because of childhood traumas they entrust to each other in the telling.
Dante tells Sofie how he was brutalized on a daily basis in Brooklyn when he was six. Sofie's story is a horror beyond Dante's darkest imaginings: as a young child, she was sexually molested. Those violations ended when she was eight but her abuser has "promised" to "teach" her about sexual intercourse when she turns thirteen. And Sofie is already twelve.
These resilient adolescents have each other's back in an imperishable tale of friendship, survival, and love.
The Last Next Time
"Paul Cody's The Last Next Time wonderfully illustrates the awfulness of addiction but even more, captures the humanity that holds us together and drives us again and again toward hope. The author's addiction to benzos and alcohol are an entry into a world made up of intelligence and madness, a world where recovery is forever fragile and loss, a constant. This book never preaches or attempts to sell a recovery program; rather, Paul Cody does what he does so well in all his novels: write genuinely with a ferocity and tenderness that captures the non-sequiturs that so often mark human connectivity. The prose is delicious, the dialogue, on point." -- Amazon review by Alexis Dengel
"Paul gives us a look at the painful, tiring, humorous, serious, intense, self examining process of rehab and early recovery. Through eyes clouded by a drug induced fog, we are given a firsthand experience of personal reflection and examination of a life consumed by drugs and the journey to get out of the abyss, to reclaim his life and his family. Personally, I was moved tremendously reading his memoir as I was there to experience it firsthand with him. Paul's recollection of "D-Block" is both didactic and poetic, his representation of the personalities on the unit true to fact and colorfully engaging. A wonderful read, a must read for those who have been through rehab or have had loved ones in rehab and recovery." -- Amazon review by Eikyuo
"This was a good book -- well-written, well-connected (even though it takes awhile to see how the various storylines interconnect -- but they do!), and thought-provoking. It imagines a future that is simultaneously utopian/dystopian, depending on who you would ask. ... In a society in which neurally implanted microchips allow immediate access to information and infinite pleasure (lots of sex!), J Melmoth's (aptly named) storyline pursues the question of whether one is ever really free to think or question, even within one's own mind. And what of those who refuse to submit to the ordered pleasure of this micro-chipped life? Imprisoned in Cuba or living as impoverished rebels in Mexico, is there any way to escape?
"This book is one that makes you think, particularly when the various storylines start to tie together. ... Has it left me pondering the present and the future and how to avoid ending up in this version of reality? Absolutely." -- Kristina, on GoodReads
"My initial reaction was Wow. This novel was really something awesome. I would strongly recommend it for both personal reading and as a school text. It's about time the high school curriculum got a shakeup and this novel is just the thing to do it. The sex will bother some people but at the same time, teenagers are growing up a lot faster these days.
"Get out there, buy a copy, and read this novel." -- Amazon review by Rose Herbert
Hunting Old Sammie
"This is a moving, powerful and haunting novel about what we don't know about each other, and of what happens when we tell ourselves stories in our own minds about what we think we see—and how sadly, tragically wrong those versions of the world and of others can be. Mr. Lauricella has written an elegant, unforgettable book about the things that divide us in this lonely, Balkanized world." -- Amazon review by Ithacan
"John Lauricella's Hunting Old Sammie holds appeal far beyond the environs of Cornell University and Ithaca, NY, where this reader resides. In a post-9/11 world, the story metastasizes around the disease of suspicion that pervades the relationships of spouses, neighbors, coworkers, communities, cultures and nations. Lauricella's intense writing style, exacting details, and unexpected plot twists make this novel a page-turner, but maybe not one for Grandma (unless you suspect that Grandma has a dark side!). -- Amazon review by Matt Conway
"Hunting Old Sammie is a powerful book limning a specific moment in our culture. It is dark and lyrical, artistically wrought and emotionally fraught." -- Tilia Klebenov, for IndieReader