CC Assistant English Professor Steven Hayward’s most recent novel, “Don’t Be Afraid,” has been named one of the top books of 2011 by The Globe and Mail, Canada’s largest-circulation national newspaper. Globe editors select the best-reviewed Canadian novels and story collections of the year.
“Don’t Be Afraid” is a darkly comic novel of adolescent anxiety featuring Jim Morrison – not the lead singer of The Doors who died in 1971, but a chubby 17-year-old living in Cleveland Heights, Ohio. This Jim Morrison was born days after the singer's death, and Jimmy, as most people call him, has been living a largely invisible life, overshadowed by his older brother, and his stern, unyielding engineer father. When the older brother dies, the family’s suburban life is upended and any sense of normalcy is destroyed. The book features humor and energy, as Hayward weaves a story of the undercurrents of family life and the unpredictable ways lives can unfold. “Don’t be Afraid” is published by Knopf Canada.