Ryan Bartelmay, Dean of General Education at Kendall College, can be found on campus most days helping faculty and students achieve their best in General Education classes such as English Composition (ENG 111), Effective Communication Skills (COM 101) or Science and Culture (SCI 220). When he’s not at Kendall, Bartelmay is an accomplished author of short fiction and nonfiction that has appeared in numerous publications including The Greensboro Review, Sycamore Review, Phoebe: A Journal of Arts and Letters, Time Out: Chicago and “a litany of trade publications and websites.”
We are proud to announce that Dean Bartelmay has just released his first novel, Onward Toward What We’re Going Toward (Ig Publishing, August 13, 2013).
“Set over the last half of the twentieth century, Onward Toward What We’re Going Toward is the story of the decline and fall of an American family,” says Dean Bartelmay. “Parallel stories emerge of a family trying to make sense out of tragedy and struggling to carve out a life for themselves in mid-century Middle America.”
Publisher’s Weekly praises the novel, observing “The fruits of Bartelmay’s labor are sweet—not in the treacly sense but in terms of the depth and ambition of his story, the sweeping tale of the Waldbeeser family of Middleville, Ill., plus a cast of characters he describes as “grotesque” in their emotional complexities.”
“The novel originally started a short story that I submitted to workshop class at Columbia,” shares Dean Bartelmay. “I realize that the book portrays an odd world with offbeat characters, but I think the characters’ views of the world are honest. … They have a one-track, singular view, and they seize to this view with very tight hands, but the characters—almost all of them—also have a desire to do the right thing, to be good people. This dichotomy is real to me.”
When asked about reactions from the Kendall community, he says “The people who know about it have been really supportive. I hear that there’s a group of faculty and staff reading it. That’s flattering. It’s humbling that people will put forth effort and read something I wrote.”
IG Publishing will be hosting a series of events to launch the novel in locations across the Midwest. Find out about upcoming events here.
Have you read Dean Bartelmay’s novel? Please share your congratulations and remarks in the comments section below!