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New Ohio University Press novel by Robert Gipe garners national acclaim


Robert Gipe, author of the award-winning 2015 illustrated novel “Trampoline," has just published “Weedeater," which continues the story of reluctant heroine Dawn Jewell and is the second book in a planned trilogy.

He wrote about the novel for the “Behind the Book” web column for national book review publication, BookPage.

In his piece, titled “In the Place I Live: Welcome to Rural Kentucky and Weedeater,” Gipe writes, “I wrote “Weedeater” knowing people who live where I do also read books. So I try to write something for them that deals with what is hard, but also catches how much fun we have, and how much spirit for surviving we have, and I try to write books that mess around with ideas about how things could maybe get better. But then I also write books to try and catch what it’s like when a whole bunch of things go wrong at once for readers for whom not so many things have gone wrong.”

Gipe’s deep empathy for his characters and the real-life people who inspire him, along with his refusal to bow to sentimentality and his unerring ear for dialect, have won him a fervent following and rapturous reviews.

Most recently, Chapter16.org, an arm of Humanities Tennessee, reviewed the book, saying, “His characters come across as absolutely real, simultaneously funny and heartbreaking.” 

“Weedeater” and “Trampoline” are 20 percent off on the Ohio University Press website, www.ohioswallow.com, and available everywhere books are sold.