This provocative satirical novel dares to question the prevailing notion that the cure-all for society’s ills is a heavy dose of positive thinking. Written as a chapter-by-chapter response to the self-help manual The Secret, Son of Soothsayer is both a sprawling family saga and a critical look at the trappings of new age philosophy. The book traces the coming-of-age of narrator Clayton Blaine, who lives in the shadow of a mother so steeped in the cult of positive thinking that she thinks she can alter the universe by the sheer force of concentration. Through a series of sometimes comic, sometimes poignant snapshots of Clayton’s adolescence, readers will be captivated by the family’s ruinous attempts at enlightenment and moved by their resolve to mine truth from the rubble, no matter the cost.
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A Chicago novelist, teacher and script writer, Simon holds a BA in fiction writing and a MAT in secondary education. His fiction has appeared in many journals, including Hobart Pulp, Whiskey Island, Juked and Curbside Splendor. His journalism has also aired on Chicago Public Radio and appeared in the Chicago Reader. He lives in the Albany Park neighborhood with his wife and son.