Famous Drownings in Literary History Book Tour: Kevin Haworth Reads an Essay from His New Book

Posted May 24, 2013 by Heather in Book Reviews / 6 Comments

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Famous Drownings in Literary History: Essays on 21st Century Jewishness by Kevin Haworth
Published by CCLaP Publishing on October 2012
Genres: Nonfiction
Format: eBook
Pages: 68
Source: the publisher

Goodreads | Amazon

What exactly does it mean to be young, Jewish and creative in 21st-century America? How do you reconcile a quiet life in the Midwest with a parallel life in Israel? And how do you fit in a five-year-old son with an interest in frilly dresses? Ohio professor and celebrated cultural essayist Kevin Haworth answers these questions and more in this, his debut full-length essay collection; and the answers are part Sloane Crosley, part Philip Roth, with a dash of Malcolm Gladwell's intelligence and a pinch of Denis Johnson's poetic style. Already the winner of a pre-publication grant from the Ohio Arts Council, from a former winner of the Samuel Goldberg Prize for Jewish fiction, this will be right up the alley of those who enjoy "The Believer" and "This American Life," a charming but darkly tinged look at circumcision, terrorist bombers, the Catskills in the '70s, and all the other confusing things that make up the life of post-9/11 Jewish American parents and artists.

(from the publisher's website)

I really enjoyed reading Famous Drownings in Literary History. Kevin was nice enough to record himself reading one of the essays from the book for Between the Covers, and I had a very hard time choosing which essay I wanted him to read because I enjoyed them all. At 68 pages, Famous Drownings is a quick read that includes nine rich and humorous essays about everything from traditional circumcision rituals in our modern world, to Kevin’s son’s love of wearing frilly dresses, to what it’s like being a Jewish American living in Israel. Kevin Haworth is a good essayist, and I highly recommend this collection of essays to anyone who is interested in reading about what it’s like to be a Jewish American family in the 21st century.

If you’re interested in reading Famous Drownings, visit CCLaP Publishing’s website where you can download a digital copy of the book for free, or purchase the Kindle edition from Amazon (at just $4.99 it’s so worth it!), or order a special handmade paper copy of the book for just $22.00.

As I mentioned above, Kevin recorded himself reading one of the essays for my readers here at Between the Covers, so here is Kevin reading “The News From Bulgaria.” Enjoy!

(Edit 7/3/15: Looks like the audio was taken down by the author. Seemed silly to leave an error message here.)


About the author: Kevin Haworth’s first novel, The Discontinuity of Small Things, was awarded the Samuel Goldberg Prize for best Jewish fiction by a writer under 40. It was also recognized as runner-up for the 2006 Dayton Literary Peace Prize. His collection of non-fiction essays, Famous Drownings in Literary History, was released by CCLaP in 2012, and won Kevin a pre-publication grant from the Ohio Arts Council. A two-time resident of the Vermont Studio Center, he is also a winner of the David Dornstein Prize for Young Jewish Writers and the Permafrost Fiction Prize. His fiction and nonfiction appear in Sentence, ACM, Poetica, Permafrost, and others. He lives in Athens, Ohio with his wife, Rabbi Danielle Leshaw, and their two children, Zev and Ruthie. He teaches writing and literature at Ohio University.