Local Writer Publishes New Novel

Kevin Pilkington, a member of the writing faculty at Sarah Lawrence College has a new novel, just published this September entitled Taking on Secrets (September 1, 2022; Blue Jade Press; Trade Paperback). 


In Pilkington’s latest novel, Taking on Secrets; we follow Benjamin Kissel’s life as a teenager, from 1969 through the next four years. When the novel starts in 1969, Benjamin is about to graduate from high school in an upscale suburb of New York City. The novel takes readers through Benjamin’s college years, his first job at an advertising agency and his first experience with racism.


It is a humorous, sexy and, at time, emotionally wrenching journey as he makes his way on the path towards maturity. Aside from a business trip to Los Angeles where he has to work with a famous comedian and a celebrity drug fueled party, its setting is New York City and surrounding suburbs. Just when he thinks he may be navigating his way through the emotional complexities of life successfully, a death and dark twisted family secret force him to respond to an all together new reality he is being forced to live.


“My parents were killed, murdered. At first, I wasn’t sure who the killer or killers, were until I realized in moments of slow confusion that it could only be one person: me,” says Benjamin, after he hallucinated from taking a hit from his friend’s joint. “Instead of getting high, it just made me paranoid. It ain’t a pleasant experience.” The friend dies two weeks later in a car accident. And so begins Benjamin’s narrative that takes readers through his early life in a tony suburb of New York, his difficult relationship with his father, his relationship with his first girlfriend, and his adult life in New York City, where he becomes a successful advertising copywriter. In this coming-of-age story, Benjamin discovers disturbing secrets about his father and maternal grandfather—and an explosive secret about his mother that rocks his world. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR — Pilkington is the author of ten collections: Spare Change was the LaJolla Poets Press National Book Award winner; Getting By won the ledge chapbook award; In the Eyes of a Dog received the New York Book Festival Award; The Unemployed Man Who Became a Tree was a Milt Kessler Poetry Book Award finalist. His poetry has appeared in many anthologies including: Birthday Poems: A Celebration, Western Wind, and Contemporary Poetry of New England. Over the years, he has been nominated for four Pushcarts.


He poems have appeared in numerous magazines, including The Harvard Review, Poetry, Ploughshares, Iowa Review, Boston Review, Yankee, Hayden’s Ferry, Columbia and North American Review.


He has taught and lectured at numerous colleges and universities including The New School, Manhattanville College, MIT, University of Michigan, Susquehanna University and Georgia Tech. His debut novel, Summer Shares, was reissued in paperback. His collection, Where You Want to Be: New and Selected Poems was an IPPY Award Winner. A new collection entitled Playing Poker with Tennessee Williams was recently published. Taking on Secrets is his second novel. 


For more information, visit https://www.kevinpilk.com/books