When nine-year-old Tom Serafino’s twin sister Teagan suffers a debilitating brain injury, a police investigation implicates his playmate Mario’s uncle—an immigrant, transient worker known as Shoe. Innocent of the crime but burdened by his own childhood tragedy, Shoe takes the blame for what is in fact an accident caused by his young nephew, ensuring Mario’s chance at a future publicly unscarred.
The lines between innocence and guilt, evasions and half-truths, love and duty are blurred. Can a lie born from resignation, fear, and love transform tragedy into hope? And is the life of one man worth the price of that lie?
Told in vivid scenes alive with imagery and with thematic echoes of John Burnham Schwartz’s Reservation Road and Northwest Corner, Apology explores how the decisions we make in an instant reverberate in the years to come. Apology further paints a portrait of sacrifice within two immigrant families raising first-generation Americans. It explores the measure of duty we have toward one another, and the extent to which abandoning the wreckage of family and the past often leads to unexpected consequences.
Deeply empathetic and beautifully written, Apology marks the novelistic debut of a critically acclaimed Asian American writer.
Jon Pineda was born in Charleston, South Carolina and raised in Chesapeake, Virginia. He is the recipient of a Virginia Commission for the Arts Individual Artist fellowship, and the author of the memoir Sleep in Me, a Barnes & Noble “Discover Great New Writers” selection and a Library Journal “Best Books of 2010” selection. His poetry collections include The Translator’s Diary, winner of the 2007 Green Rose Prize from New Issues Poetry & Prose, and Birthmark, selected by Ralph Burns as winner of the 2003 Crab Orchard Award Series Open Competition. His newest manuscript was a finalist for the 2011 National Poetry Series. He teaches in the low-residency MFA program at Queens University of Charlotte and lives in Virginia with his family. Apology is his first novel.