The Guilfordian

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Professor Andrew Saulters releases new book

Part-time Lecturer of English and Director of Unicorn Press Andrew Saulters launched his new book, “No, It’s Just You: A Memoir in 58 One-Act Plays and One Montage,” at Scuppernong Books in Greensboro on Tuesday, Sept. 4 at 7 p.m.

The launch event celebrated the beginnings of Scuppernong Editions and included a reader’s theater performance of the book along with a Q&A session with Saulters.

“The subtitle of this book is kind of a lie,” Saulters said. “Although it’s not a memoir in any sense, it’s contents are 58 one-act plays and one montage. All of them present nearly verbatim conversations from the last 7 years of my life that have gotten a little scrutiny, a little off-the-rails. I mean the conversations, not the years.

“Sometimes I get to provide the punchline, sometimes other people get to provide the punchline, sometimes I am the punchline. I appear in each one-act play, and their titles all contain my name: Andrew Saulters. Because sometimes innocent people can’t change their names to protect themselves.”

Saulters’ “No, It’s Just You” is the first of many works to be published by Scuppernong Book’s new press, Scuppernong Editions. In their own words, Scuppernong Editions strives to publish “commercially questionable writing in all genres.”

“It’s got a very different voice,” said Co-owner of Scuppernong Books Steve Mitchell. “The voice is consistent throughout the book even though there are 58 short pieces, and a very different perspective. And I think that is what will really engage the reader is that perspective and kind of the way that Andrew looks at the things around him.”

Saulters went on to discuss his interpretation of the book as a memoir in the broader context of human interaction and existence itself, relating the conversations and encounters he had with others to the personal realities and experiences of the audience.

“If there is a case for this book as a memoir, it’s that after 50 some episodes from my life, the reader may begin to believe, irrespective of the title, that the book isn’t about me at all, but rather about this real condition of being alive that all of us find ourselves in,” Saulters said.

“People mistake you for other people. You yourself mistake yourself for other people. Strangers ask you why you are alone in life or otherwise regard you as the best lawyer in town. It happens to everyone, I’m sure.”

Those attending the book launch, including Greensboro resident Julia Ridley Smith, who worked with Saulters on the Greensboro Bound Literary Festival held in May 2017, found the poetic literary style of “No, It’s Just You” to reflect Saulters’ sense of humor.

“I just love how they’re like poems,” Smith said. “And I’m sure this is intentional, knowing his interest in and love of poetry, but how the ends of these dialogues cut off in just the right place.

“They take a turn to a place you’re not expecting and then they kind of leave you with this last bit of humor or something to think about, so I appreciated that.”

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