Join us in celebrating the release of John Vanderslice’s historical novel, The Last Days of Oscar Wilde. With readings from John Vanderslice and Lucas Schaefer.
Oscar Wilde is struggling through his final years in Paris. His reputation is ruined. His finances are in shambles. He drinks too much. He is reduced to begging meals from strangers; he even resorts to minor fraud to raise a few more pounds to live on. The most important romantic relationship of his life, his alliance with Lord Alfred Douglas, is now but a strained, overwrought friendship marked on both sides by resentments and guilt. And yet against this backdrop of poverty, social downfall, and disappearing fortitude, Oscar Wilde survives. While his sense of self has been rent, he maintains his humor, an active joie de vivre, an affection for superstitious religiosity, and a network of devoted friends. He even manages to fall in love again. But can his close circle of devoted friends convince him to pick up his pen one more time and write?
John Vanderslice teaches in the creative writing program at the University of Central Arkansas. His stories, poems, essays, and one-act plays have appeared in scores of literary journals, including Laurel Review, Seattle Review, South Carolina Review, and Crazyhorse. His linked booked of stories Island Fog (Lavender Ink Press) was named by Library Journal as one of the Top 15 Indie Fiction Titles of 2014. His historical novel The Last Days of Oscar Wilde has just been released by Burlesque Press.