Clifford Garstang: The Shaman of Turtle Valley

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THE SHAMAN OF TURTLE VALLEY


Award-winning author Clifford Garstang chats with Big Blend Radio about his debut novel, “The Shaman of Turtle Valley.”

Library of Virginia Literary Award winning author of the short story collection What the Zhang Boys Know, Clifford Garstang, combines his international experience and Virginia roots in The Shaman of Turtle Valley (Braddock Avenue Books), which explores the healing of wounds —in families, nations, and landscapes— and the challenges in bridging cultural gaps.

After graduating from college, Garstang spent two years in the Peace Corps teaching English in South Korea. His time abroad helped guide him into the practice of international law in the United States and overseas. Garstang has returned to Korea in his first novel, The Shaman of Turtle Valley. He explores the collision of culture and family conflict, the lasting effects of warfare, and our universal need to heal from life’s greatest tragedies.

While stationed in Seoul, Garstang’s character, Aiken Alexander, gets a Korean girl pregnant and tries to make things right by marrying her and bringing her back to America, though their relationship is disapproved by both families. Garstang’s characters explore the mysteries of both Appalachian and Korean traditions, the need for conciliation in light of abuse and conflict, and tolerance through the lens of a man trying to keep his family together while maintaining his morality.

Clifford Garstang is a former international lawyer and prize-winning author of the story collections, In an Uncharted Country and What the Zhang Boys Know, plus editor of the anthology series, Everywhere Stories: Short Fiction from a Small Planet. With degrees from Northwestern University, Indiana University’s Maurer School of Law, and Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, Garstang was an international lawyer in Chicago, Los Angeles, and Singapore and a legal reform consultant in Kazakhstan. Learn more at: https://cliffordgarstang.com/  

 

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About the Author:

Clifford Garstang is a former international lawyer and prize-winning author of the story collections, In an Uncharted Country and What the Zhang Boys Know, and editor of the anthology series, Everywhere Stories: Short Fiction from a Small Planet. With degrees from Northwestern University, Indiana University’s Maurer School of Law, and Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, Garstang was an international lawyer in Chicago, Los Angeles, and Singapore and a legal reform consultant in Kazakhstan.

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