April 2020, Braddock Avenue Books
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again proves that Tyrone Jaeger is a “writer with a big heart, a delight in language, and a deft and subtle touch” (Lauren Groff). Painting on a canvas large enough to encompass all the hopes and fears of a generation, Jaeger’s novel transports the reader back to the 1960s and an America rife with internal conflict and anxiety: Vietnam, the ever-present threat of mutual assured nuclear destruction, Free Love—a psychedelic funhouse of social anxiety—all played out to a proto-punk rock soundtrack guaranteed to blow your mind.
Populated with characters across the political and social spectrum, Radio Eldorado focuses on the members of a band called the Wound Tights and their entourage of friends, family, and groupies as they all find ways to personally negotiate the volatile landscape, trying desperately to find answers. What is marriage? Parenthood? Music? Country? all in a world seemingly on the brink of violence.
In vibrant, frankly unforgettable language, Radio Eldorado takes us on a rollicking tour of the past in a way that radically anticipates our own restless present.
stays with you long after you’ve finished reading its pages. There’s a sticky humming energy to Tyrone Jaeger’s prose that’s impossible to leave behind. His Cynthia Hutton is a cowgirl radical searching for bittersweet exile in a world that isn’t quite ready for her. This excellent debut novel explores the turmoil and freedom of 1969 with vivid prose and harmonic cadence. I couldn’t put it down."
-Sherrie Flick author of Reconsidering Happiness and Whiskey, Etc.
"If you’re like me and have been waiting for a novel that finally defines the cultural revolution of the sixties and seventies in this country, you need to read Radio Eldorado
! Jaeger writes like a man who has lived the many lives he explores in his debut novel, speaking with an authenticity that has been too often missing in earlier stories about hippies, drugs, rock and roll and anti-war activists. Not only is he the consummate craftsman whose sentences ring with breathtaking lyricism and grit, but he is also a writer who opens our hearts and minds to the struggles of the people he brings to life as they try to grasp the changes that are breaking apart the world around them while they must simultaneously redefine themselves and discover the true facts that have led to the challenges of virtually every shared communal and political value they’ve ever known. What results is a novel full of humor, satire, and uncompromising truth. Jaeger has written a novel that is as much for today’s fraught world as it is a reconstruction of the past. He reminds us that we can learn from the past, and not only that, we must remember it before it’s too late."
-Jonis Agee author of The Bones of Paradise
is a music-soaked ride that is dark and funny, steeped in some history, and fueled by misadventures--I love these characters, this book, and Tyrone Jaeger--who is going to blow you away."
-Jodi Angel author of You Only Get Letters from Jail
SO MANY TRUE BELIEVERS
February 2016, Braddock Avenue Books
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So Many True Believers
gives voice to the wanton, the restless, and those hellbent on self-destruction. The Nat Mota School for at-risk youth is the nexus of Tyrone Jaeger’s spiraling narrative; loosed from it is an array of characters yearning, raging, and chasing down their misguided dreams. There is Jeremy, mourning the loss of his girlfriend to a UFO cult; Harold, the betrayed husband exploring intimacy in unfamiliar waters; and Ginny, the teenage runaway hiding out with a band of video-obsessed squatters. Mystery, magic, and gritty realism are coiled against a backdrop of failed relationships and addictions in this darkly humorous debut collection depicting the frayed edges of the American psyche.
"Tyrone Jaeger is a new writer with a big heart, a delight in language, and a deft and subtle touch; So Many True Believers
is gentle and melancholy, a story collection linked like a set of Christmas lights, a series of bright bulbs glowing against the cold and dark night."
-Lauren Groff author of Fates and Furies
"So Many True Believers
is a wonderful book of songs from a single musical; heartbreak songs, songs of wonder and disbelief. We leave the Tyrone Jaeger Theater reminded that our notion of sanity depends on a daily and perilous reclamation of self and hope."
-Mark Richard author of The Ice at the Bottom of the World
"So Many True Believers
is great American gothic, in the vein of Flannery O’Connor's fiction, or the novels of Daniel Woodrell – haunting, perverse, gritty, darkly comic. Jaeger’s characters are fascinatingly un-plucky; even the most capable of them are barely muddling through, following twisted instincts as they navigate the pitfalls that await their every step. These stories are heartfelt portraits of psychological depth."
-Timothy Schaffert author of The Swan Gondola
A Q&A with Tyrone Jaeger
- The Arkansas Times
THE RUNAWAY NOTE
2012, Shakeskpeare & Company, Toad Suck
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Set in the dreamscape of the Kaats Kills, The Runaway Note
is the fragmented story of two star-crossed lovers as they steal the devil’s van, resurrect a dead boy, and re-experience their pastlives. A pastiche of surreal romance, epistolary, and tall tale, the book takes the reader on an alternatingly whimsical and gruesome tour of youth, home, violence, time, and death. At once funny and menacing, inventive and human, The Runaway Note
manages to find tenderness in the face of the inevitable end.
"The Runaway Note
is a runaway dream, a dream that keeps breaking upon itself and somehow, in the breaking, becomes more and more shapely and serendipitous. The dream contains familiar literary players--a female lead who's part femme fatale and part damsel in distress, a mean imperious bearded interloper, a lost and rebellious protagonist--but the aspirations they harbor toward love and hope seem unfamiliar mostly because they're so large. These people, to their peril, are better at dreaming than we are, and this book comes on like an interesting stranger with no manners. The characters are in orbit. Above them circle vultures. Below them, fish do laps around a flooded old town. Jaeger's folks are hyper-aware of their common destiny, which is to become fossils, and they want their souls to leave a mark in addition to their bones. Maybe that's what this thing is up to the whole time: assigning value to the souls of the wonderful and tortured."
-John Brandon, author of Arkansas
and Citrus County
"In The Runaway Note
, Tyrone Jaeger has crafted a remarkable mosaic of sentences, each a surprise, each in oblique dialogue with those before and after. Often aphoristic on their own, collectively they lead the reader through an oneiric, fable-like story, of delightfully unpredictable twists and turns."
-Stanley Crawford, author of Log of the S.S. Mrs. Unguentine and Some Instructions to My Wife
"You may think these hard, glowing gemstone fragments have rained down from a hallucination, a dream or nightmare, but they are messages from another world. The powerful medium Tyrone Jaeger has pieced together his own strange testament, a personal Bible full of riddles, revelation, visions, and terrible adventure."
-Jack Pendarvis, author Your Body is Changing
and The Mysterious Secret of the Valuable Treasure
"Tyrone Jaeger's The Runaway Note
is a violent and mystical record of a recurring nightmare brought on by reading Flannery O'Connor and Frank Stanford. Coyotes are running across the dam. The moon is murderous. The difference between the living and the dead is not the capacity for love. And I now know this is what happens when you die: you wake up, and you ask for forgiveness."
-Zachary Schomburg, author of Scary, No Scary
Joshua Ware reviews The Runaway Note.