Child with Mannequin, Historical Novella Set in New Orleans, Leads Celeste Newbrough’s New Collection of Fiction Portraying Uniquely American Characters and Landscapes


Berkeley, California (EastBayDaily) — In her newest work,Unspent Motion, Berkeley author Celeste Newbrough places transformative experiences of older women at her centerpiece. Newbrough masterfully builds suspense through the unfolding psychology of her characters. Unspent Motion traces rites of passage of intriguing protagonists, many of whom are older women, whose existential encounters with loss, illness, privation and crime compel them to transformation and self-discovery.Taken as a whole her characters span across gender and generations.With breathtaking prose and sensual settings spanning from New Orleans to the Northwest, she creates an authentic American landscape.

Celeste Newbrough’s work and life been featured in several books including Britta Stövling, Atertagendet, Janet Allured, Louisiana, the American South, and the Birth of Second-Wave Feminism, and An Oral History of Celeste Newbrough by the San Francisco LGBT Historical Society. Newbrough's prior books: Pagan Psalms, The Zanscripts, The Norita Book, and The Archetype Strikes Back, have been internationally translated and reviewed. She has been widely published in literary, feminist and LGBT journals.

Rave Reviews Pre-Press Reviews for Unspent Motion: “[The novella] “Child with Mannequin…most fully realizes the theme of transformation. The main character is an oil painting created as a gesture of maternal love but then ultimately stolen from the beloved daughter it depicts. The ambitious story envisions the painting as a mute yet intelligent observer of lives representing a broad cross section of New Orleans society from the early 20th century to the floods that accompanied Hurricane. Katrina in 2004. Here, where life and death are both metaphor and fact, Newbrough’s narrative carries significant weight. She makes clear how intellectual and emotional lives can transcend generations and how losses can be both permanent and permeable.” top listed, KIRKUS Reviews

“An electrifying collection that condenses whole lives into short tales… Each story reveals the dance between age and emotion; between the past and the present; between what will pass away and what will pass on to new generations.” Cynthia Kane, contributor, Huffington Post

"Engaging glimpses into the trials, transitions, and triumphs of women and their companions. Anyone who enjoys drama and anticipation will find her characters and stories compelling, building to surprising conclusions. “ Carolyn Merchant, author of Death of Nature, Reinventing Eden

“Thumbs up to ride in this womanist world—open road ahead, youth in the rear view mirror. These women want freedom—freedom for a big white dog, for the criminal, for a mother’s art, for themselves and for those they love. Any hitchhiker free enough to sit on a ghost lap, ride out Katrina, and catch a little Mardi Gras, stick out your thumb.” Jo Lecoeur, author of Blue New Orleans and Medicine Woods

"Stately and free-flowing prose with a decided literary bent. Her voice is consistent and identifiable through each story, though the characters she writes about vary in surprising and pleasing ways. [The story "Starbuck"] , ostensibly about an ill-fated Samoyed dog… delves into the nature of being, freedom, conscience, and the frustration that comes from the inability to overcome injustice… Starbuck is a gem of a story." Nathan Beauchamp, author of Chimera


Celeste Newbrough, Author

Ilona L. Pivar, PhD., Editor and Publisher

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