Long October is a young-adult book about social disconnection and the search for a meaningful life in a materialistic world. The story follows 15-year-old Erin as a week spent on the shore of White Pine Bay transforms her worldview and leads her to reject a comfortable place in a coveted social group. With nothing to replace it and with the foundations of her life at home weathering away, she is overcome by disillusionment about her first love, close friendships, and conventional views of success. Drawn to people at her high school who she would never meet under normal circumstances, Erin finds a quiet way to bring them together.
A note about being a researcher and a writer: While my fiction may sometimes be informed by my academic research, I consider these to be two distinct spheres of work. The fiction that I write does not necessarily align with the theoretical perspectives I present as an academic. That being said, there are common themes connecting the two worlds, including the centrality of meaning-making in human life, and a deep-seated uneasiness with many of society’s current trajectories.