The three works in this volume concern people either slipping from or trying to grasp needed levels in life. In “The Case of Arlene,” a mental patient will only reveal her traumatic past to an itinerant part-time worker, creating intrigues within their facility. “The Lightweight,” written in verse, is essentially an epic poem about a “regular guy.” His story offers meaning in its commonality with the aspirations and weaknesses of many other people. In “The Celestial Opera,” a reunion of two old friends at a funeral leads to deeper understanding of life, death, and what may lie beyond.
James I. McGovern was born in Connecticut but moved to the Midwest at an early age and has resided there since. His early education was in private schools but he attended state universities, receiving his M.A. in literature in 1972.
Mr. McGovern worked in government agencies from 1969 through 1999. His duties were in the areas of financial and medical benefits, as well as child welfare. The author saw his public service as a useful balance to his literary interests. After leaving government work, he taught English and writing on the community college level.
After some success with articles and short stories, Mr. McGovern published a number of novels: The Child Abuse Man (1988), Spring of Second Comings (1993), Aura of Purgatory (2000), and Beyond the Failure Club (2007). Some of his shorter work was published in 2004 as The Twin Fortunes and Other Stories.
Mr. McGovern currently resides in northern Illinois.