Acclaimed author Djelloul Marbrook here offers us two powerfully original novellas that centre on the New York art world. The Pain of Wearing Our Faces is about an art teacher in Manhattan and one of her students, a famous composer, who pledge to entertain each other as they try to remain sober. She goes in search of him when he disappears after confessing that his most famous work was plagiarized from a homeless woman in Woodstock. In the second novella, Grace, teenager Grace Torrance runs away from an abusive father when a Catskill mountain flood destroys their cabin. Without money she hitchhikes to Manhattan where she has no choice but to sleep among the homeless in Freedom Tunnel. When she meets a mysterious young art preparator she discovers her own talent for miniaturist painting and starts to believe in her future, but betrayal confronts her until her ability to make friends intervenes.
Djelloul Marbrook was born in Algiers and grew up in New York. He served in the U.S. Navy and for many years was a newspaper reporter and editor (Providence Journal, Elmira Star-Gazette, Baltimore Sun, Winston-Salem Journal, Washington Star, among others). His awards include the Wick Poetry Prize (2007), the Literal Latté fiction prize (2008), and the International Book Award in Poetry (2010). His poetry has been published in many journals, including American Poetry Review, Barrow Street, Taos Poetry Journal, Orbis (UK), Le Zaporogue (Denmark), Oberon, The Same, Reed, Fledgling Rag, Poets Against the War and Poemeleon. He lives in New York's mid-Hudson Valley with his wife Marilyn and maintains a lively presence on Facebook, Twitter, Behance and at djelloulmarbrook.com.