Philadelphia, PA, April 20, 2018 --(PR.com
)-- Eminent domain can have ripple effects in a community, pitting residents against developers and government entities. Dog Ear Publishing has presented an Award of Literary Excellence to a new novel that focuses on residents about to be displaced and the Army veteran who champions their cause.
Author Edward Sheehy of Minneapolis is surprised and delighted his book achieved the honor. “There is so much excellent fiction writing today, that to be acknowledged for standing out in a crowded field is a distinct honor,” he said.
Dog Ear publishing editor Reba Hilbert called the book “a solid (story!) Jack Cade is a disgruntled, pill-popping hero cabbie in this sharp, super smart novel about urban plight and personal redemption.”
Clarion Review gave the novel four stars, calling it “intelligent and lingering… Cade’s Rebellion is a smart, memorable story of clashing cultures.” Kirkus Reviews said this: “Sheehy constructs an intricate plot centered on the issue of gentrification as social injustice.”
Sheehy, a legislative policy professional, decided to write the book, a project 20 years in the making, because he found no recent literary fiction that dealt with eminent domain and its devastating consequences on the people most affected.
“I felt the topic was ripe for a fictional treatment to give readers a sense of how the process feels to a marginalized community that feels powerless to confront powerful business and city government forces. The threat of a land grab that will displace thousands of tenants raises profound questions of social justice as to what is legal versus what is moral.”
“Cade’s Rebellion” features Jack Cade, who returned from Iraq with a bad conduct discharge, an addiction to painkillers and survivor’s guilt – the aftermath of an IED attack that killed seven Iraqi soldiers in his squad. When the eviction epidemic arrives at his doorstep, Cade’s drawn into a fight to protect the apartment complex where he lives, home to thousands of Salvadoran tenants. But a visionary developer of new urban villages and a vicious gang leader are determined to crush Cade and his neighbors, no matter the cost. The result is a multilayered story of one community’s efforts to reclaim their homes and one man’s efforts to reclaim his soul.
Sheehy, a Navy veteran, conducted extensive research in creating his hero. A session at a 2015 Minneapolis writing conference featured veterans discussing how they wrote about war was a big influence. “It was important to me that Cade’s experience in Iraq ring true,” he said. “I have deep respect for the men and women who served in Iraq and Afghanistan and I did not want to disrespect their service with a one-dimensional caricature.”
Sheehy also drew on an eviction event facing a nearby neighborhood heavily populated by refugees from El Salvador when he lived in Alexandria, VA.
“Many of these Salvadorans had been forced out of their homes during the country’s civil war, and they were again being forced from their apartments to accommodate a private development. I used that event as a basis on which to construct my own fictional community threatened by an eminent domain takeover and populated it with my own characters. Our home reflects who we are as an individual, and as a family, and as a member of a community. It is not hard to imagine how tempers can flair when one’s home is at risk of destruction, or even spill over to violence.”
Sheehy noted that the novel also was inspired, in part, by a real-life historical event. In 1450 England, an ex-soldier named Jack Cade led a rebellion against a corrupt king intent on imposing heavy taxes and other hardships on shopkeepers and laborers to seize land. And the parallels don’t end there.
In addition to promoting his book at bookstores in Minneapolis soon, Sheehy wants to reach out beyond traditional markets for novels. “I plan to reach out to professionals in urban planning as well as social justice advocates who will be drawn to a novel that deals with the controversial issues of urban gentrification and eminent domain,” he said.
Sheehy also will write about current events that relate to themes in the novel in his blog, www.edwardsheehy.com.
He noted the support he received from the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis and a small writers group he later joined. “We workshopped each other’s novels over a period of several years,” he said.
Sheehy called the Dog Ear team responsive and supportive at each step of the process. “While the story is the main thing, I am also very pleased with how the cover turned out – it is a knock-out! Hopefully, the eye-catching cover will tempt readers to explore the novel further.”
For additional information, please visit www.edwardsheehy.com
Cade’s Rebellion: A Novel
Dog Ear Publishing
ISBN: 978-1-4575-6024-8 276 pages $14.95 US Paperback
ISBN: 978-1-4575-6024-8 276 pages $22.95 US Hardcover (DJ)
ISBN: 978-1-4575-6263-1 $9.99 US eBook
Available at Ingram, Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble and fine bookstores everywhere.