Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Howard Fast On Ebooks - Into the Digital Age

I don't usually endorse any sort of product on this site. I generally stick to reviews of books, movies, and music, as well as telling some stories. But today's release of Howard Fast in e-book fashion by Open Road Media is an exception to the rule. Why? Because Howard Fast is an icon of American literature. If you are unfamiliar with Howard Fast, and his work, here is your chance to correct that oversight.

Although I am, by nature, and age, a devotee of the printed word, it gives me such pleasure to see that many of our greatest American classics are beginning to find their way into the digital age. Written works, by authors such as Mr. Fast, define who we are, and where we have been. Each book is its own lesson. What a pity it would be to have lost all of Mr. Fast's work to technological changes. I still have a paperback copy of "April Morning", which I treasure as a link to my childhood, and the wonderful teacher who opened my eyes to the artistry of Howard Fast. Her name was Mrs. Denslow. I can't help but wonder what she would have thought about e-books.

Howard Fast, as you will learn from the video, was one of the most prolific of American writers. In 1950 he was sentenced to 3 months in prison for refusing to answer questions during the McCarthy hearings. Rather than waste his time in jail, he wrote "Spatacus." That should tell you a whole lot about Howard Fast, and why it is so important that his works be preserved. The following materials, as well as the video, were provided by Ms. Laura DeSilva at Open Road Media in marking this special ocassion.

Sixty-three Titles by New York Times Bestselling Author Howard
Fast Launching as Ebooks from Open Road Media

"The only thing that infuriates me, is that I have more unwritten stories in me than I can conceivably write in a lifetime." —Howard Fast

Sixty-three titles by Howard Fast (1914­­–2003), one of the most prolific American writers of the twentieth century, will be released as ebooks by Open Road Integrated Media in December. Open Road will publish both fiction and nonfiction during a three-stage rollout.

Howard Fast, the best selling author of more than eighty works of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and screenplays, grew up in New York City and published his first novel upon finishing high school in 1933. In 1950, his refusal to provide the United States Congress with a list of possible Communist associates earned him a three-month prison sentence, along with a place on the blacklist of several major publishers. During his incarceration, Fast wrote one of his best-known novels, Spartacus (1951), and went on to found his own press, Blue Heron, in order to release the work. Throughout his long career, Fast matched his commitment to championing social justice in his writing with a deft, lively storytelling style. His collection of bestselling novels such as Conceived in Liberty, Citizen Tom Paine, April Morning, and The Legacy illustrate themes of freedom and human rights in a time of turbulence and global war.

On December 13, 2011, nineteen titles—including April Morning—will be released. In April Morning, on the eve of the American Revolution, the Battle of Lexington and Concord changes a boy’s life—and a nation’s history—forever. Sweeping in scope and masterful in execution, this novel is a classic of American fiction and an unforgettable story of one community’s fateful struggle for freedom. The Incredible Tito, Fast’s fascinating biography of Joseph Broz, known to the world as Tito, including his rise to power and his remarkable stand against fascism, will be offered to readers as a free download.

On December 20, nineteen mysteries by Howard Fast writing as E. V. Cunningham will be released as ebooks. These include the Masao Masuto mysteries, beginning with The Case of the Angry Actress, starring detective Masuto, a second-generation Japanese-American, Buddhist homicide detective. Other titles include such female-centered works as Phyllis, Sally, and others.

On December 27, twenty-five titles will complete Open Road Media's Howard Fast ebook collection. Three of these are from Fast's much-loved Immigrants series, an immensely popular saga that spanned six novels and over a century of the Lavette family’s story. Of this series, Open Road will release The Legacy, The Immigrant's Daughter, and An Independent Woman. Two of the nonfiction titles—The Art of Zen Meditation, in which Fast offers readers a simple, straightforward introduction to Zen meditation, which had a profound influence on his writing and personal philosophy; and Spain and Peace, a 1951 pamphlet that contains a powerful denunciation of Spanish dictator Francisco Franco—will be offered as free downloads.

Extra content includes:

• Behind-the-scenes author commentary and videos at www.openroadmedia.com/authors/howard-fast.aspx
• An illustrated biography in each ebook, including previously unseen photographs and documents from Fast’s personal life and distinguished career.

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