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Makara: A Novel
Kristen Ringman
ISBN: 978-0-9798816-4-0
5.5 x 8.5 trade paperback.
172 pp. $15.95
Book orders:

Handtype Press, LLC
PO Box 3941
Minneapolis, MN 55403-0941
by Kristen Ringman

for immediate release

Media contact
Raymond Luczak, Publisher
Email: handtype@gmail.com
Phone: 612-424-4042

What if you grew up with a seal mother and a human father? Such is a Deaf lesbian's story in the novel Makara.


About the Novel

Handtype Press is proud to announce the release of Kristen Ringman's debut novel Makara. In the story, Fionnuala is such a daughter: a part-human, part-seal Deaf woman who falls in love with Neela, a Hearing woman in India. While growing up with Neela's family in Tamil Nadu, she struggles with her distant parents living apart in Ireland and Indonesia. Eventually her father brings her to Venice where she becomes a mime artist. What binds them all together is the unstoppable undercurrent of ache running through the sea of their lives. The book's title comes from “a Sanskrit word for a mythological water creature, sometimes seen as a selchie or half-seal . . . it is also described as a hybrid or monster (between forms, neither one thing nor another); a form that is half-animal and half-fish.”

About Kristen Ringman

Kristen Ringman grew up in Rhode Island with a deaf mother and hearing father. She gradually went deaf herself by her early 20s. Like her character Fionnuala, she has spent her life in between, often feeling closer to animals or characters in stories than humans.

After losing her only “sibling,” a dog named Casey, when she was 19, Kristen spent a semester abroad in South India helping a New Zealand native named Ann with animal care. Together, they gave food and natural medicine to the stray dogs surrounding the international community of Auroville in Tamil Nadu, the area which became the setting for Kristen's imagined South Indian village in Makara.

Throughout her twenties, Kristen pursued volunteer opportunities in other countries while writing poetry and novels on the side. At the age of 24, Kristen finally found herself “at home” within the Deaf Peace Corps community in Kenya, where she could use American Sign Language (ASL) daily.

A year later, she returned to South India and supported Ann through her battle with cancer.

Kristen's journey home from India following Ann's death led her to Venice, where she spent time wandering the canals and healing from the loss of her friend and mentor. In Venice, she met an Irish children's book illustrator and subsequently followed him home to Ireland and taught mural painting with him at his old primary school in Dún Chaoin, the setting for Fionnuala's home in Makara. She returned to America after living in Ireland for a year and a half in order to receive her MFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College in 2008, where she finished Makara.

Since her graduation from Goddard, Kristen has discovered a new way of experiencing her passion for the sea: through living aboard sailboats and sailing up and down the east coast. While pregnant in 2011, Kristen and her husband were shipwrecked along the New Jersey coast on their way back to Block Island from Key West, and lost their trimaran home. This hasn't deterred their dreams of circumnavigating someday with their son, and they are currently in the process of planning to build a Wharram-designed catamaran to live aboard indefinitely. Little did Kristen know, that a small fantasy of a daughter of a selchie would call forth her own destiny to live on the water with her husband and son, Rónán, whose Irish name means “little seal or child of a selchie.”

Kristen has continuously felt caught between hearing and deafness, between feeling at home in foreign cultures as well as her own, between animals and humans, between attractions to women as well as men, between writing poetry and writing prose, and between her desire to help others and her desire to retire to a sailboat and write.

Media-Related Information

The author Kristen Ringman is available for interviews. Review copies can be requested directly from the publisher. The title will be available in the more popular ebook formats on November 1, 2012.

About Handtype Press
Handtype Press is a company that showcases the finest literature and art created by signers, Deaf and hearing alike, or about the Deaf or signing experience the world over. Their web site is www.handtype.com.

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