I envision a house overshadowed by illness and impending death, creaky, dark, and gloomy in my imagination, a huge, disintegrating, creepy-chilly old place. It turns out that it’s nothing like I’ve been picturing. . .

On her twenty-first birthday, Maggie Owen receives an unusual birthday gift: a house. That same day, the house's owner, her aunt, dies. For three years, Maggie has been fleeing her childhood demons: the deaths of her parents, estrangement from her terminally-ill aunt, and a betrayal by her best friend. But now her career on the road, following natural disasters in temporary insurance claims offices, ends abruptly as Maggie returns home to face her past. But why does the house hold a mysterious spell over her? Why does she have the persistent feeling that her aunt is haunting her? Why did her aunt lie to her about the circumstances of her parents’ deaths? Who is the ghost child that may be hanging around the house? And what’s with the guy next door who seems so hostile toward her? FOLLOWING DISASTERS is tightly woven ghost story that raises questions about legacies and their influence on our choices.

Advance praise for Following Disasters

"How great would it be to inherit, unexpectedly, a wonderful large Victorian house when you turned twenty-one? Maggie-Kate is unsure if it's a blessing or a curse. Following Disasters is a novel that offers thrilling wisdom--about family, friendship, and romance. This is a true and important book, sometimes haunting, that is worth any reader's time."
- Sena Jeter Naslund, author of Abundance, a Novel of Marie-Antoinette and Ahab's Wife

“A masterfully told story of betrayal and dislocation vibrantly narrated through the voices of an odd-ball aunt and her eccentric niece, Following Disasters is at once a mystery, a love story, and a narrative of healing. Nancy McCabe’s most recent novel explores that deepest human yearning: our need to belong. I couldn’t put it down.”
— Elaine Neil Orr, author of A Different Sun: A Novel of Africa

“Following Disasters is really about fleeing the disasters of our past, and, finally, facing them. This beautiful novel shows how the ghosts of the past will quietly torment us until we confront them head on. You’ll be haunted by the brave, struggling Maggie long after you turn the final page—I certainly have been.”
— Katrina Kittle, author of Blessings of the Animals

"...One of the most refreshing things about Following Disasters, in fact, is the way it defies cliché and stereotype, both in story and character. The novel is partly about growing up, but it isn’t a typical coming-of-age story. It’s about grappling with the past and finding one’s place in the world, too, but even those concerns turn out to be different than we might’ve foreseen...." - Gary Walker at US Represented

Nancy McCabe is the author of four memoirs, most recently From Little Houses to Little Women: Revisiting a Literary Childhood (Missouri 2014). She has also published several dozen stories and essays in literary magazines as well as articles in The Los Angeles Review of Books, Newsweek, and Writer’s Digest. Her work has received a Pushcart Prize, five listings in the notable section of Best American Essays, and a recognition on the notable list of Best American Nonrequired Reading. She holds an MFA in fiction-writing from the University of Arkansas and a PhD in fiction-writing from the University of Nebraska. She currently directs the writing program at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford and teaches in Spalding University’s low-residency MFA in writing program.

Booksigning, Talking Leaves Books, Main Street, Buffalo NY, 7:00 p.m., Oct. 13
Launch party, University Room, U. of Pittsburgh at Bradford, 7:00 p.m. Oct. 19
Reading, Celebration of New Books, Spalding University, November, TBA
Booksigning, AWP, Washington DC, Spalding University Booth, 10:30-11:30, February 11, 2017

Following Disasters
Nancy McCabe
232 pages
$16.00 paperback ISBN 9781944853037
$9.99 ebook

November 2016

Back before she got really sick, Aunt Beth said she was going to haunt me someday. . .

copyright 2015 OP19 Books LLC