Earth As It Is by Jan Maher has been honored with the Grand Prize at the 2017 Great Midwest Book Festival in Chicago.
Published in January 2017, Earth As It Is tells the story of Charlie Bader, who comes of age in 1930s Texas struggling with urges to dress in women's clothing. When his young bridge leaves him, he journeys to Chicago, then joins the military after Pearl Harbor. At the end of the conflict, he winds up in Heaven, Indiana, where poor military records have listed him as Charlene, an identity he adopts.
Charlene opens a beauty shop where Heaven’s women safely share their stories and secrets as she shampoos, clips, curls, and combs their hair. Charlene deftly manages to keep her own story hidden and her sexual desires quiet until she falls in love with a female customer and her life begins to change.
Earth As It Is is Maher's second novel and first with Indiana University Press. It was also recognized as the winner in the General Fiction category at the 2017 Great Midwest Book Festival. Please join us in celebrating Maher's success!