The Bee-Loud Glade: A Novel
by Steve Himmer
Fiction, Trade Paperback Original
6 x 9 in / 224 pages
Publication Date: April 4, 2011
“I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made;
Nine bean rows will I have there, a hive for the honey bee,
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.”
-W.B. Yeats, “The Lake Isle of Innisfree”
The Bee-Loud Glade is the story of Finch, a daydreamer whose job as a marketer of plastic plants consists mostly of updating the blogs of the imaginary people he creates. Once new management steps in and kicks him out, Finch slowly lets go of all ties to the outside world. With both his electricity and motivation shut off, he sinks into a state of oblivion, holed up in his apartment for weeks on end. But when his reply to what he thinks is innocuous spam sweeps him into the world of billionaire Mr. Crane, Finch agrees to live and work—for more money than he’s ever imagined—as an ornamental hermit in a cave on Mr. Crane’s estate.
This darkly comic commentary on modern work and wealth thoughtfully probes deep-rooted questions about the nature of man, the workplace, and society (and what happens in their absence). Set in a postmodern pastoral landscape, it brings a playfulness more commonly found in urban fiction to an outdoor setting. With light and engaging prose, Himmer deftly unearths the ironies of life and the futility of escape.
Praise for The Bee-Loud Glade
“An allegorical novel that seems eerily contemporary. Thoreau meets Ballard, meets Huysmans and many more.”
-Tom McCarthy, author of Remainder and C
“[A] wonderful novel that’s hard to describe, but that’s a good thing. Just go where this stunning book takes you and enjoy the story, the characters, and the language. ”
-Michael Kindness, host of Books on the Nighstand
“Gorgeously written, told with straight-forward prose…Anyone who takes time to settle in with this small treasure will come away…yearning for a quieter, slower world, one to spend pondering a mushroom or a cloud, one to disappear and, for at least some time, be forgotten.”
“Himmer’s debut novel evokes Chekhov, Thoreau, Fowles, and others…”
“The Bee-Loud Glade is quite the original read, a top pick for the general fiction looking for something very new in their novels.”
–Midwest Book Review
“The premise of The Bee-Loud Glade is a quirky one, to be sure, and Himmer handles it beautifully…It’s a thoughtful book but it’s hysterical, too…Himmer is a very cerebral writer but he’s also very gentle, and his words move as effortlessly as the river in which Finch performs his daily swim.”
-Mel Bosworth, Outside Writers Collective and Press
“[O]ne cleverly postmodern allegory that is a testament to Steve Himmer’s ability to write a thoughtful, funny, tender novel full of memorable characters and heart-stilling moments.”
“Steve Himmer speaks directly to that need to find purpose, to do exactly what we were meant to do and to it with every part of our being.”
–The Orange Spotlight
“Enter Himmer’s humorous, carefully imagined world. Watch his skillful hand transform Finch into a postmodern Thoreau before your eyes. Sit still. Pay attention. Do all this, and you, too, will fall under this novel’s wondrous spell. I promise.”
-Peter Grandbois, author of The Gravedigger, The Arsenic Lobster, and Nahoonkara
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Steve Himmer teaches at Emerson College in Boston, where he earned his Master of Fine Arts in creative writing and is on the faculty of the First-Year Writing Program. His stories have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies including Hobart, The Los Angeles Review, Night Train, Pindeldyboz, PANK, Emprise Review, and Everyday Genius. He also is a frequent blogger on writing and teaching, and edits Necessary Fiction, a webjournal from So New Publishing, a press based in Eugene, Oregon.
Learn more about Steve Himmer, his novel and what inspires him every day at stevehimmer.com.
The Bee-Loud Glade is a comic strip! Enjoy one of the opening scenes from the novel as adapted by writer and artist Nathan Holic.
See Steve’s trailer for the book: A Bee-Loud Tease.
Watch a promo video for the book from main character Finch himself.
Check out this video interview with the author, on his unique inspiration for The Bee-Loud Glade.
Dive into an exchange between the author and our publisher, complete with a clip from the TV show that sparked Steve Himmer’s imagination.
Join the Bee-Loud Glade Facebook page.
Visit Prick of the Spindle for an interview with the author on the novel, his journey to publication, and life as a writer.