Saturday, January 21, 2012

About Benjamin Obler


I grew up just outside the Twin Cities, and got a B.A. in English Literature/Creative Writing from the University of St. Thomas, and then a Master of Letters in Creative Writing from the University of Glasgow, Scotland. I’ve managed somehow to work with words and books my entire career. Book store grunt, publishing intern, editorial intern, closed capitioning editor, very infrequent freelancer, and now Senior Editor with an educational publisher, and novelist. I also teach fiction at The Loft Literary Center. I live in St. Paul, play tennis, play air guitar, and keep a Ficus Benjamina house plant as a horticultural avatar of myself. When it dies, I die. Must go water it.


Celadon is the novel Obler is currently writing. It’s about three-quarters done. Here is the short hook.
In a Minneapolis suburb in the 1980’s, young Howie Toffler spots Joanne D. in a department store, believing she is his favorite centerfold, Marlene, from an old Playboy stolen from his grandfather’s stash.  Reality and fantasy are blurred as he pursues and eventually befriends her. But the compelling relationship gets complicated as she becomes needy, manipulative, and unstable. As a teen, Howie’s close contact with Joanne is a liability and a danger.  His stifled emotional life and failing friendships and romances call into question the purported harmless of female objectification, sexual deification.
The synopsis has changed a few times over the last year. Obler posts samples on his web site, which "keep it interesting," according to him. See samples at

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