"The Harvesting of Haystacks Kane is a unique roller coaster, and it’s not one you want to get off." - Mark Jay Mirsky

Available now - Get your copy today (Ships March 4, 2024)

"All the fireworks of James Joyce’s Ulysses its sleight of hand, and the streaming consciousness  of Faulkner are at play..."

"...recalls the whimsy of Jerome Charyn’s novels, and  the laughter of Bruce Jay Friedman, and Stanley Elkin’s’ work."

"...a unique roller coaster, and it’s not one you want to get off."

Author Mark Jay Mirsky reviews Steve Schlam's upcoming novel slated for release March 4, 2024. Read the review here:

Steve Schlam’s novel, The Harvesting of Haystacks Kane opens with a slam bang mystery. His protagonist, Herschel or Haystacks, is an astounding 607 pounds and we are kept guessing through the first chapter whether he has won a match in the wrestling ring, or his antagonist, The Heart Breaker. One of them has shot into the air, flying over the ropes. Don’t imagine though that this is a conventional Jewish novel about an overweight boy from Brooklyn. All the fireworks of James Joyce’s 'Ulysses' its sleight of hand, and the streaming consciousness of Faulkner are at play in Schlam’s gripping (pardon the pun) first chapter. The cocky dialogue of his handler, Maury, streaked with Yiddish, recalls the whimsy of Jerome Charyn’s novels, and  the laughter of Bruce Jay Friedman, and Stanley Elkin’s work. Later on in the novel we will learn that Herschel’s mother has planted the consciousness of her first male child, whom she truly loved, Stevie, but lost in a crib death, in Herschel, a son she reluctantly gave birth to.  Herschel, she declares angrily will forever be to her a “stranger,” only tolerated  because she believes he cradles in his flesh his dead older sibling, Stevie. This demented Jewish mother, contemptuous of her husband, Hyman Cain, her son Herschel, her daughter, Myrna, almost takes over the chapter, but the wild doings in the hospital to which Herschel is rushed in the aftermath of the match, overcome her dark force. Haystacks Kane, swollen to 607 pounds has landed, in the recovery wards where he has been bound to his mattress sheets, caught and held in a net of intravenous tubes. In the chapter’s last roller coaster pages, the reader is in the same state of suspense as when its pages first exploded. Joy, appetite, incest and sex compete in Haystacks’ head. The creamy center of the blonde nurse who tends Heschel in the hospital, memories of his sister Myrna naked with him as a child in the bathtub; all leak into the intravenous tubes. Herschel dreams they will stream alongside liquid marshmallow of Yankee Doodles and Mallomars into his ravenous body. Tortured, hungering, Haystacks is pinned on the sheets of his hospital bed, like the butterflies his absent father taught him to collect; yet still up on the air, wondering, who won the match?

     "The Harvesting of Haystacks Kane" is a unique roller coaster, and it’s not one you want to get off.

-Mark Jay Mirsky, Author

Mark Jay Mirsky is the author of thirteen books, among them five novels and a book of stories and novellas, Thou Worm JacobProceedings of the RabbleBlue Hill AvenueThe Secret TableThe Red Adam, and Puddingstone. He has also published three critical studies, The Absent ShakespeareDante, Eros and KabbalahBlue Hill Avenue was listed by the Boston Globe in 2009 as “One of the Essential Books of New England.” His last book A Mother’s Steps is a search for his mother in dreams and photographic albums. The editor of the Diaries in English translation of Robert Musil (Basic Books) and co-editor of Rabbinic Fantasies (Yale University Press) and Volume 1 and 2 of The Jews of Pinsk, 1506-1941 (Stanford University Press) he has been the editor of Fiction since its founding in 1972. Professor Mirsky has taught at Stanford University and Bar Ilan as well as serving first as director of the City College M.A., and then as chairperson of its English Department. He has published in numerous periodicals, the New York Times Sunday Book Review, the Washington Post, Partisan Review, and received a National Endowment for the Humanities fellowship and a New York Foundation for the Arts Award.