Byliner Publishes THE CASTAWAY: A Novella
By the Critically Acclaimed Frank Huyler
“Huyler’s writing is quiet, precise, spellbinding from beginning to end … Easily holds with the best contemporary fiction.” —The New York Times
March 20, 2013—San Francisco— Published today by digital publisher Byliner, The Castaway ($1.99), by Frank Huyler, is a seafaring fever dream in the grand tradition of Joseph Conrad, Paul Bowles, and Robert Stone, with an uncanny dash of the supernatural. Long after you’ve finished this enthralling novella, it will continue to haunt.
A watchman aboard a tanker spies a sailboat, weather-beaten and covered in barnacles, adrift in the middle of the Pacific. Out of the cabin emerges a solitary boy, about six years old, clean and neatly dressed. He has no food or water yet is seemingly untouched by his random progress across the ocean.
He is rescued and taken on board, where he is eyed skeptically by the captain. “He looks like he is coming home from school. How is this possible?” The boy doesn’t speak a word, though at times he cries out like a seagull. He spends his days staring at walls or at the shifting shapes on a computer’s screen saver. The crew presents him with a cake, then watches in astonishment as he holds his finger in the flames of its candles without being burned.
The boy’s only protector is the tanker’s first mate, Shahid, a tenderhearted family man. As he watches over the eerily impassive child in an isolated cabin, the ship becomes increasingly uneasy. When the crew becomes sick with a mysterious illness to which the boy appears invulnerable, the fear becomes palpable, leading to a shocking conclusion that will be impossible for readers to erase from their minds.
About the Author: Frank Huyler is the author of two novels, Right of Thirst and The Laws of Invisible Things, and a nonfiction book about his experiences in medicine, The Blood of Strangers. His poems and essays have appeared in many publications, including The Atlantic Monthly, Poetry, and The American Scholar. He is an emergency physician and an associate professor at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine.
About Byliner: Byliner commissions and publishes original stories written to be read in a single sitting. These “e-short” stories are available on phone, tablet, or computer as part of the Byliner subscription service, and can also be purchased individually through the major digital bookstores. Bestselling Byliner titles include Richard Russo’s Nate in Venice, Amy Tan’s Rules for Virgins, Margaret Atwood’s Positron, Jon Krakauer’s Three Cups of Deceit, Ann Patchett’s The Getaway Car, Nick Hornby’s Everyone’s Reading Bastard, and Buzz Bissinger’s After Friday Night Lights. On Byliner.com, readers get personalized access to an unmatched library of more than 20,000 fiction and nonfiction stories by the world’s best writers, allowing them to easily find, read, save, and share new and classic stories by their favorite authors.
The Castaway is available for $1.99 as a Kindle Single at Amazon, a Quick Read at Apple’s iBookstore, a Nook Snap at BarnesAndNoble.com, and a Short Read at Kobo. For a review copy or to schedule an interview with Frank Huyler, please contact Clare Hertel at firstname.lastname@example.org; 505-474-6783.