East Pittsburgh Downlow

East Pittsburgh Downlow

by Dave Newman


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East Pittsburgh Downlow focuses on characters who struggle to pay their bills but know they want a better life or, at least, the chance to wreck the life they’re living. The characters are waitresses, UPS employees, and bartenders. They are former professional athletes and drug dealers with dreams. They are students of all ages who don’t know what they want to be or even what they can be. Told in the first-person by Sterling Hart, a former welder turned community college professor, East Pittsburgh Downlow narrates the lives of characters who understand now is the time to make their dreams come true. Every day the world is a little uglier. Every day, you get paid a little less. Sterling wants to write a literary novel set in Western Pennsylvania about the working-class people he teaches, students who work full-time while taking classes in Air Conditioning & Heating Repair. Sterling knows about careers. He grew up in dives and trailers, attended university on a wrestling scholarship, and graduated with a useless English degree. He learned a trade and spent the next 11 years welding on bridges, dreaming of being a writer, eventually publishing western novels under the name Montana Jones. East Pittsburgh Downlow is the story of Sterling’s mom—“Call me Joanie, mom makes me sound old”—who lives on artificial sweetener and mangos. She’s currently dating a young veterinarian. She’s purchased a poodle to impress him. She hates poodles. It’s the story of Megan, the student that Sterling has fallen in love with. After the class where Megan has turned in another brilliant story, Sterling answers a call from his former coach Carlton Haslerig, the greatest heavyweight collegiate wrestler of all time and a former all-pro guard for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Carlton is five minutes out of jail. He needs a ride, he needs a friend, he needs to get off drugs. Everyone is on drugs, what you can score and what doctors prescribe. Brandon, a student who only writes violent satires, may be off his medication. He may be carrying a gun. He may have plans to use his gun. Fat Bill, a former student, has joined the Marines, only he’s realized he can’t kill anyone. He loves books and he’s thinking of going AWOL. If so, he’s going to need a lawyer. John Grisham, the lawyer who shares a name with the writer who publishes legal thrillers, is available when he’s sober. Pittsburgh’s most famous citizen, Mr. Rogers, said “In times of crisis, look for the helpers.” East Pittsburgh Downlow is the story of the helpers. It’s the story of the helpless and people desperately trying to help themselves; lives will change and end and people will be re-born. Families will be saved. Love will find love because that’s what love sometimes does.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781733938822
Publisher: J.New Books
Publication date: 10/11/2019
Pages: 468
Sales rank: 1,178,915
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.04(d)

About the Author

Dave Newman is the author of seven books, including East Pittsburgh Downlow (J. New Books, 2019), the novella Sammy Drinks Canned Beer (White Gorilla Press, forthcoming 2020), The Poem Factory (White Gorilla Press, 2015), the novels Raymond Carver Will Not Raise Our Children (Writers Tribe Books, 2012), Two Small Birds (Writers Tribe Books, 2014), Please Don't Shoot Anyone Tonight (World Parade, 2010) and the collection The Slaughterhouse Poems (White Gorilla Press, 2013), named one of the best books of the year by L Magazine. His stories, essays, and reviews have appeared in Gulf Stream, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, Belt, the legendary Nerve Cowboy, Smokelong Quarterly, Ambit (U.K.), Tears in the Fence (U.K.), The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, and many other places. He appeared in the PBS documentary narrated by Rick Sebak about Pittsburgh writers. Winner of numerous awards, including the Andre Dubus Novella Prize, he lives in Trafford, PA, the last town in the Electric Valley, with his wife, the writer Lori Jakiela, and their two children. He works in medical research, serving elders.

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