Press Release: The Cornstalk Man
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Independent press to release novel about Bipolar Disorder and single motherhood.

Green Bean Press will release THE CORNSTALK MAN by Daniel Crocker on June 28, 2003. Advance copies now available to the media for review.

The Cornstalk Man (1-891408-32-1, $12), Daniel Crocker's debut novel, takes place in a small town in Missouri. The year is 1970. Lorraine Thompson (referred to mostly as Mamma in the story) is a single mother raising three children. The eldest, Cynthia, headstrong and independent, has a reputation for being easy and often clashes with Mamma. Will, the middle child, is just entering puberty, and without a male role model to turn to, is often sullen and withdrawn from the family. Rebecca Thompson (better known as Sis), the eight year old narrator of the story, struggles to understand everything going on around her while also trying to lead a normal childhood (playing dress-up, having sleepovers with friends, etc.). But what makes normalcy most difficult for anyone in the Thompson family, or the entire town for that matter, are Mamma's cycles of charisma and vengeance, followed by inconsolable and paralyzing black funks. Mamma suffers from severe Bipolar Disorder at a time when this illness was not widely understood and before drugs could be readily prescribed to help smooth out the sufferer's extreme mood swings. As a result, Mamma's erratic actions throughout the story are frequently embarrassing and unimaginable to the people who witness them, and often very hurtful. Unfortunately, she has no reservations about involving her children in her schemes, and this adds to the town's outrage and general low opinion of Mamma. Sis undergoes a crisis of conscience, loyalty, and identity--her ever-present dread of The Cornstalk Man shadowing the real monster living among them.

The Cornstalk Man (June 24, 2003) is a raw and touching story of one family's struggle with circumstances beyond their control. Alternatingly heartbreaking and hilarious, this novel does not fail to make a powerful impression on the reader.