Interview: Author ‘Steve Kistulentz’ Talks His Debut Novel Panorama

Steve Kistulentz is the author of the novel Panorama, (Little, Brown & Co., 2018). He has also published two award-winning collections of poetry, Little Black Daydream (University of Akron Press, 2012) and The Luckless Age (Red Hen Press, 2010), winner of the Benjamin Saltman Award. Kistulentz was born in Washington, DC. He earned a BA in English from the College of William and Mary, an MA from the Johns Hopkins University, an MFA from the Iowa Writer’s Workshop, and a PhD from the Florida State University. Check out his website here and Twitter. Panaorama is in stores on Tuesday, March 6th.

Richard MacMurray, a cable news talking head, is paid handsomely to pontificate on the issues of the moment. On New Year’s Day he is scheduled to be a guest on a prominent morning talk show. As he awaits the broadcast, the network interrupts with news that a jet airliner has crashed in Dallas and that everyone aboard has perished.

Within an hour, amateur videotape surfaces of the plane’s last moments, transforming the crash into a living image: familiar, constant, and horrifying. Richard learns that his sister, Mary Beth, was aboard the doomed flight, leaving behind her six-year-old son, Gabriel. Richard is the boy’s only living relative. When he is given an opportunity to bring Gabriel home, it may be that the loss of his sister will provide him with the second chapter he never knew he wanted.

In this powerful debut, Steve Kistulentz captures the sprawl of contemporary America–its culture, its values, the workaday existence of its people–with kaleidoscopic sweep and controlled intensity. Yet within the expansive scope of Panorama lies an intimate portrait of human loss rendered with precision, humanity, and humor.

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