The Ascent of Isaac Steward is the remarkable and extraordinary debut novel from the senior editor of the prestigious literary magazine, The View From Here. Written with a literary, lyrical voice, the book follows Isaac Steward in an emotional and original tale as he struggles to deal with the resurfacing of a suppressed memory of a car crash a year ago which killed his wife, Rebekah, his son, Esau, and left his other son, Jacob, in a coma. Isaac becomes increasingly dysfunctional and delusional as the story unfolds in a hypnotic and startling way bringing into play childhood memories of a Punch and Judy show and the revelation from his half-brother, Ishmael, that in order to be reunited with Rebekah he must be brought to a tree from his father's wood called The Dandelion Tree. To help him, Isaac slips in and out of being Major Tom Donaldson, a SAS commander fashioned by his mind to help him regress back to a time of naiveté and happiness before the accident. But Donaldson brings only death and violence and Isaac struggles to keep a grip on reality as he descends into his mind and starts to question if he himself has already died. Atmospheric and sensual and dealing with universal desires of love and reconciliation, The Ascent of Isaac Steward is reminiscent of the surrealist literary experiments of James Joyce but highly readable. Readers will be astounded, transfixed and immersed in the world long after turning the last page.
Mike French is an author and the owner and senior editor of the prestigious literary magazine, The View From Here which has been called many fine things since it started in 2007 including, "Attractive, informative, sparkling and useful" by the late Iain M. Banks and for having a "great passion and drive" by Booker shortlisted Tom McCarthy.
Mike's debut novel, The Ascent of Isaac Steward came out in 2011 with Cauliay Publishing and was nominated for The Galaxy National Book Awards which due to an unfortunate clerical error was awarded to Dawn French.
Mike's second novel a dsytopian sci-fi called Blue Friday was released in 2012 by Elsewhen Press and was nominated for the Arthur C. Clarke award 2013. Convergence, his third book, was released in October 2013 from Elsewhen Press and was nominated for the Arthur C. Clarke award 2014.
Born in Cornwall in 1967, Mike spent his childhood flipping between England and Scotland with a few years in between in Singapore. Splitting his time between his own writing, editing the magazine, running workshops and working with atp media in Luton, Mike is married with three children and a growing number of pets. He currently lives in Luton in the UK and when not working watches Formula 1, eats Ben & Jerry's Phish Food and listens to Noah and the Whale.