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Marco Polo Mother & Son

Wet Cement Press is pleased to announce the publication of a new novel by Thoreau Lovell. Marco Polo Mother & Son tracks a deceased mother and her grieving son who unsuccessfully pursue each other with words through a universe of memory and fantasy, truth-making and truth telling.


"The book is dedicated to the author’s mother, Georgiana Helen Mary Allen Lovell Frame. Lest there be any doubt, she alone among the characters keeps her real name, Georgiana. Lovell becomes dutiful son “George,” to whom Georgiana speaks from the grave. After his mom’s death, he becomes obsessed with his grieving—or, more to the point, with his failure to do so. Is there life after death? Is Georgiana in the bardo, trying to contact him? How can he get through to her, to give her peace? A moving remembrance—every mother should receive such a fitting tribute." —Kirkus Reviews


"Exceptional writing immerses readers in missed opportunities as two lives run parallel but never intersect. Thoreau Lovell’s Marco Polo Mother & Son is a poignant exploration of the intricate relationship between the recently deceased Georgiana and her grieving son George. Through the lens of an imaginative game of Marco Polo with words, Lovell expertly shifts between the stories of two captivating central characters. Set against the backdrop of various locations across the United States and abandoned dreams, the novel skillfully straddles the line between fiction and memoir, inviting readers into a space where memories, grief, and familial bonds intertwine . . . Only an exceptional writer could immerse readers in such profound pain, leaving them reluctant to accept the conclusion of the story. Lovell's novel adds layers of authenticity and devastation that are undeniably worth cherishing. In creating Marco Polo Mother & Son, Lovell has crafted something extraordinary." 

—Independent Book Review


“In the mid-70s I devoured Peter Handke’s memoir A Sorrow Beyond Dreams in which he attempted to understand himself by understanding his recently departed mother. I remember being very moved and disturbed at the time by Handke’s long essay but it receded as a thousand or more other books entered my consciousness over the years. And then, suddenly, last week came Thoreau Lovell’s Marco Polo Mother & Son, a truly remarkable novel about a son in search of his mother and a mother in search of her son. Within moments of finishing it, Handke returned forcefully from the land of forgotten books, not just because of the subject, but because Lovell, like Handke, has written a book just as intense, in which the “action” is mostly in the psyche. And what action abounds in Lovell’s deft presentation of the past as it comes spilling into the present, and the present as an evocation and effect of the past." —Cable Street



Thoreau Lovell is a poet and prose writer originally from Fresno, California, and now living in Berkeley, California with his wife and their dog and cat. He previously worked in the library at San Francisco State University as an technology and collection access administrator. Currently, he’s the publisher and co-founder of Wet Cement Press. He has published two books of poetry, Amnesia’s Diary (Ex Nihilo Press) and Wilson Wiley Variations (Wet Cement Press). The obscure mystery writer B.E. Lovell was his father. More info at

Marco Polo Mother & Son

Thanks! Preorders will be filled after February 15th, 2024.
  • Paperback / 232 pages / 5"x 8"

    ISBN: 979-8-9883840-4-5

    Distributed by Ingram

    Pub Date: 4/15/2024

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