In honor of the holiday season, novelist Ron Riekki is donating the royalties he receives for his novel U.P. for the quarter that runs throughout this year’s holidays to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.
Riekki’s novel has been one of Ghost Road Press’s bestselling books for over 92 weeks, appearing continuously on their top ten bestseller list since February 2009. Actor/producer/musician Steven Wiig (actor in Into the Wild and member of ex-Metallica bassist Jason Newsted’s band Papa Wheelie) of Bay Area production company Two Eyes Productions as been working as a producer to turn the novel into a motion picture.
Description: From a bold new novelist comes a complex tale of friendship and brutality. Set in Michigan s Upper Peninsula, U.P. is the story of four teens immersed in an ugly world, one whose threat of violence is always simmering beneath the surface. R.A. Riekki s distinctive characters and their poignant quest for freedom is a swan song to lost youth, redefining the traditional coming-of- age-story. Four boys, four distinct narratives that converge into a harrowing and heartbreaking whole.
One of the four main characters, J, has cerebral palsy and his struggle with it is central to the storyline. Riekki’s mother was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2004 and a cousin of his has cerebral palsy. Riekki did independent research on CP and MS as he was writing the novel while living in Charlottesville in preparation for his MFA in Fiction at the University of Virginia. U.P. was Riekki’s MFA thesis at the university and the book went on to be nominated by National Book Award winner John Casey for the Sewanee Writers’ Series. Of U.P., Casey said, “I wish Kurt Vonnegut were alive to read U.P., he’d love it.” Ghost Road Press became interested in the novel after a chapter featuring J’s cerebral palsy was published in the New Ohio Review.
The success in book sales is now allowing him to help in another way, through a charitable donation in alignment with book sales for this year’s holidays. The novel can be purchased at: U.P.