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Marco Polo Mother & Son (hardcover)

Spring, sprang, sprung! Every memory is a seed with a story to tell in Thoreau Lovell’s innovative debut novel Marco Polo Mother & Son. The story explores the ever-shifting relationship between Georgiana, and her son George, as each one travels the twisting contours of their own California Dreams. Told in alternating voices, her stories become his stories, and his become hers, but then not quite. Everyone has their secrets, even in Fresno, where feisty Georgiana is living out her final days, with whiskey and Percocet in the small house where George “her inscrutable son” grew up.


The great divides we live among, and how to cross them, play like a jazz theme through this always surprising work. Richly rendered landscapes of the San Joaquin Valley, echo the difference between life on the coast and the invisible interior we so rarely hear of. Hidden too, in the lives of Georgiana, a Midwesterner who moved to LA in the 1950’s, and George’s 21st century bi-lingual Berkeley family, is a people’s history of California. Economics, good fortune and bad, and the tales we chose to remember or forget, all twine in and out of this story.


As Georgiana explains: “Then again even the slightest memory has gravitational pull. Attracting forgotten bits of experience into new configurations—not all of them true—transfixing and overwhelming in their spectacle. What I mean is, every story becomes a labyrinth. Every memory a wormhole.”


Written with lyric beauty, and an uncanny sense of the living present, the novel’s triumph lies in its sustained vision of empathetic embodiment. Lovell reminds us that the best way into understanding others is always to imagine our way into the lives they live. 


---Advanced Praise---


Marco Polo Mother & Son explores the intricate interplay of existence and perception. A must read for those who appreciate a narrative that navigates the spaces between reality and imagination, truth and fiction.”

—Lisa Rose (


"A moving remembrance—every mother should receive such a fitting tribute." —Kirkus Reviews


"In creating Marco Polo Mother & Son, Lovell has crafted something extraordinary." —Independent Book Review


“The way we tell tales affects how we remember, and the way we remember influences the tales we tell. In Marco Polo Mother & Son, Thoreau Lovell turns memory into a character.” —Timothy Dyke, Awkward Hugger


Thoreau Lovell is originally from Fresno, California, and now lives in Berkeley, California, with his German wife and their American dogs and cat. He has master’s degrees in creative writing from San Francisco State University and from the library school at UC Berkeley. Previous books include Amnesia’s Diary (Ex Nihilo Press) and Wilson Wiley Variations (Wet Cement Press). The obscure mystery writer B.E. Lovell was his father.

Marco Polo Mother & Son (hardcover)

$24.00 Regular Price
$18.00Sale Price
  • Hardcover / 232 pages / 5"x 8"

    ISBN: 979-8-9883840-1-4

    Distributed by Ingram

    Pub Date: 4/15/2024

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