Winner of the PEN/Hemingway Award for Debut FictionBarnes & Noble 2014 Discover Great New Writers Selection, Third Place The stories in Elegy on Kinderklavier explore the profound loss and intricate effects of war on lives that have been suddenly misaligned. A diplomat navigates a hostile political climate and an arranged marriage in an Israeli settlement on a newly discovered planet; a small town in Kansas shuns the army recruiter who signed up its boys as troops are deployed to Iraq, falling in helicopters and on grenades; a family dissolves around mental illness and a child's body overtaken by cancer. The moment a soldier steps on an explosive device is painfully reproduced, nasecond by nasecond. Arna Bontemps Hemenway's stories feel pulled out of time and place, and the suffering of his characters seem at once otherworldly and stunningly familiar. Elegy on Kinderklavier is a disquieting exploration of what it is to lose and be lost.
Arna Bontemps Hemenway holds an M.F.A. from the Iowa Writers' Workshop, and has received scholarships from the Sewanee Writers' Conference and Truman Capote Literary Trust. He teaches at Baylor University in Waco, Texas.