AMERICAN SEASONS by Mark Brazaitis (Guatemala)


American Seasons
by Mark Brazaitis (Guatemala 1991-93)
Main Street Rag Publisher
228 pages
June 2024
$18.95 (Paperback)  (*Buy now at a pre-publication discount of $10.95)


Mark Brazaitis (Guatemala 1991-93)

Mark Brazaitis’ third novel and ninth book, American Seasons, will be published as a paperback original in June by Main Street Rag.


American Seasons is about a small college basketball team in the early 1960s, its ambitious coach, his young, idealistic, beautiful wife, the team’s two star players (one black, one white), and the sports editor who hopes to chronicle a championship season. All goes well  . . . until it doesn’t. Past secrets and present tensions threaten to upend the team’s magical season — and explode the lives of everyone connected with it.

American Seasons, Brazaitis says, began as a play, “but with all the ambitions I had for it, it would have run nine hours.” In addition to basketball, the novel is about politics, racism, love, regret, and redemption.

Like the novel’s narrator, Brazaitis was the sports editor of his college newspaper. “I’ve also coached and played basketball, so I dipped into my life as research.” It was Brazaitis’ father, however, who played college basketball in the early 1960s, with John Carroll University. Although his father died in 2005, Brazaitis says he remembers his father’s basketball stories and drew on them in writing his novel. “It was one of the most fulfilling and exciting periods of his life.”

“The early 1960s was, of course, the dawn of the Peace Corps,” Brazaitis says. “I couldn’t help putting in a scene in which one of the characters is applying to become a volunteer.”


Brazaitis is the author of eight other books, including The River of Lost Voices: Stories from Guatemala, winner of the 1998 Iowa Short Fiction Award, and The Incurables: Stories, winner of the 2012 Richard Sullivan Prize and the 2013 Devil’s Kitchen Reading Award in Prose. His novel Julia & Rodrigo won the 2012 Gival Press Novel Award. His stories, poems, and essays have appeared in Ploughshares, The Sun, Witness, Guernica, Michigan Quarterly Review, Shenandoah, Beloit Fiction Journal, USA Today, and elsewhere.

Brazaitis is a professor of English at West Virginia University, where he directs the Creative Writing Program and the West Virginia Writers’ Workshop. He served as a Peace Corps volunteer (1991-1993) and technical trainer (1995-1996) in Guatemala, and for the past two years he has directed the Peace Corps Writers’ Retreat on the Eastern Shore of Maryland.


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