Press release: Novelist and Bloomington Native returns Home to celebrate the release of a novel about Local Underground culture; April 7, 2024

The following was sent to the Bloomingtonian:

Novelist and Bloomington Native returns Home to celebrate the release of a novel about Local Underground culture – People’s Park!

The author of The Last Night to Kill Nazis and Punk Rock Ghost Story wrote a sci-fi horror coming-of-age love letter to freaks and weirdos and the park in Bloomington where they gathered before the internet….

 People’s Park Release Party! 1:30 PM Sunday, April 7th Bloomington, Indiana Monroe County History Center

When David Agranoff left Indiana for the west coast two decades ago he was a part of many activist groups and youth subcultures in Bloomington. From environmental campaigns and anarchist bookstores, Agranoff was a part of the activist fabric of Indiana. Now the author of 12 books including the nationally released horror novel set on the last night of World War II – The Last Night to Kill Nazis

Last Night to Kill Nazis is a special book because it is available in stores coast to coast, even though I have had cult hits like Punk Rock Ghost Story and The Vegan Revolution…With Zombies this is different. It is a holocaust revenger story and historical horror.  I like to say  if you hate Nazis but like vampires it is the book for you.”

Between Agranoff’s award-nominated writing career, his podcasts about science fiction, and his ongoing column for the classic publication Amazing Stories the Bloomington native has garnered a following but it is his upcoming novel that will be of great interest to readers in Indiana. “I was inspired by the sad very real events that happened in 1969, for those who don’t know why People’s Park is there in downtown Bloomington it had been a black-owned store that was bombed by the Klan. Twenty years later I was like lots of counter-culture kids spending much of my free time hanging out in the park never knowing the history. I always wanted to write a novel about Bloomington and I kept thinking about the park. The spark of the idea was this… an evil act happened in that spot,  that has to leave evil spirits in the wake. The park is haunted by history.”

What came next was a deeply personal coming-of-age novel. From the back cover: “People’s Park in Bloomington Indiana, is not in radical Berkley but in the heart of the conservative Midwest. It was a home away from home for punks, skaters, metalheads, hippies, schizos, homeless vets, and anyone who didn’t fit in the mainstream. In the middle of the downtown business strip near the campus, the park itself was out of place.  None of the young kids who called the park home knew their spot wouldn’t have been there if the Klan had not bombed a black-owned business in 1969. One witness to the bombing was Electric Fred, often dismissed as crazy Fred listens to blasting static on his Walkman and writes conspiracy theories in his notebooks. To Justin and his friends, it is all part of the world out of the mainstream they are discovering by hanging out in the park in the summer of 1989.  Fred’s rantings about evil forces are easy to dismiss. As the forces of hate grow stronger the warnings scribbled in his hundreds of notebooks are coming true.”

 Agranoff thinks it will appeal to Sci-fi fans but also anyone interested in a story tied to the history of Indiana and youth cultures of a bygone era. “It is a true 80s coming of age Bizarro horror novel, People’s Park is Stranger Things with punk rock and skateboards, and when my publisher Quoir picked it up I knew I had to celebrate in Bloomington and as an astronomy nerd I had April 7th and the solar eclipse weekend on my calendar for years. The planets are lining up for this novel. I think of this book launch as a family reunion for People’s Park kids.”

 The People’s Park by David Agranoff National Book Launch will be held in Bloomington the day before the solar eclipse at the Monroe County History Center. David Agranoff is available for Interviews ahead of the event.

 1:30 PM Sunday, April 7th Bloomington, Indiana Monroe County History Center

202 E 6th St, Bloomington, IN 47408 (while you are there check out the “Punk at the Old Library,” exhibit!)

Readings, signing, Q and A!  hosted by author, researcher, publisher, and (Philip K Dick)Dickheads co-host D. Harlan Wilson 

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