Hiram professor of English and author of Zoo World, Mary Quade, MFA, will be joining Hiram alumnus, Jake Maynard ’10, at Loganberry Books in Cleveland this Sunday, June 9, as they discuss Maynard’s debut novel, Slime Line.

Based on his time spent in Alaska and working in the commercial fishing industry, Maynard’s debut novel is “equal parts workplace satire and character study in delusion, Slime Line is a fresh and urgently needed examination of work, grief, the male ego, and the false promise of environmental capitalism,” according to the West Virginia University Press.

Jake Maynard '10, author of Slime Line
Jake Maynard ’10, author of Slime Line

Slime Line first started as an idea in a food-writing course, led by Jeffrey Swenson, Ph.D., interim vice president of academic affairs, dean of the college, and professor of English. The idea later evolved into a short story during Maynard’s time in graduate school. 

Having kept close ties with his Hiram professors over the years, Maynard and Quade stay in contact through mentorship and Maynard’s occasional visit back to Hiram. “Jake has generously shared his work and thoughts on craft and process with my writing classes in recent years, and his writing reflects the idea that the world carefully and accurately observed produces the most interesting and strange narratives,” Quade said. “Slime Line certainly adheres to this principle, and while it is fiction, the most astounding parts of it come from human reality.”

Quade also recalls the first time she had the chance to read Maynard’s work in a literary journalism course:

“For one of his projects, he wrote about the introduction of Rocky Mountain elk to Pennsylvania to replace the extinct native Eastern elk, Cervus canadensis canadiensis. The essay demonstrated the qualities I’ve come to associate with Jake’s writing: observant, funny, irreverent, complex, and educational. It began: ‘There lives in the woods of Pennsylvania an animal so large that it outweighs a black bear twofold. It eats as much food in a single day as does the average human in four. Its distinctive mating call can be heard from two miles away and sounds like both the howl of a wolf and the trumpet of an elephant. The animal can run over thirty miles an hour, and excluding humans, has no predators in the state. The animal is the Rocky Mountain Elk, Cervus canadensis nelsoni, and along with about one-hundred other people, I am watching its magnificent mating display from a hilltop overlook in Elk County, Pennsylvania. Or at least, I’m trying to watch its magnificent mating display. The overlook—a wooden platform jutting out from the steep northern slope of the hill—is clogged with people. To my left is a man in blue sweatpants, parading around a brown and white patched American bulldog. The pet is ‘first cousin’ to Chance, the starring bulldog in the Disney film Homeward Bound, the man tells a neighboring elk watcher. Twice I glance over at the dog, only to suspect that unlike his famous cousin, his thoughts are not narrated by the voice of Michael J. Fox,'” Quade recalls.

Join Maynard and Quade as they further discuss Slime Line on June 9, at 1 p.m. at Loganberry Books, 13015 Larchmere Blvd., Shaker Heights, Ohio 44120.