By Jasmine Willis
DANSVILLE - A local author has written a deeply personal novel about finding humor and beauty in the place he grew up.
Author George Guida spoke with this local reporter about his novel “Posts From Suburbia” and the journey it took to get here. He will have a book signing for his latest work on Aug. 26 at 6 pm at McFadden Coffee.
Posts From Suburbia follows the life of Bill who has grown up in the land of suburbia culture. He has a satirical point of view on the day-to-day observations of manicured lawns, mall cops, man caves, cut-rate shrinks, infinite hobbying, gun-toting postmen, ignorant know-it-alls, yard statutes, and trains to nowhere. If you have grown up in the burbs, you will enjoy the wit and humor of the novel. If you have moved to the burbs or plan on moving there this is a good guide to get you through it. It proves we can all find the humor in our situations. Often, we are made aware of the community culture after we return from a long journey. We learn to appreciate our hometowns for what they are and look for the beauty in the cracks.
Guida grew up in the burbs of Long Island. He first felt inspired to write this novel after returning to his roots in his late 20s. He had gotten through college and a trip overseas. He found himself broke and moving back into his childhood home.
“It was strange to return home and not know many of the people. All the people I had grown up with had moved on. I was alone a lot of the time and was starting to rediscover my hometown. I had a lot of time to reflect on things. Often, I would go to the city to revisit some college friends. It was like I was a visitor to my own life. Everything I used to know about the suburbs had a new meaning,” he said.
Long Island is made up of a string of towns connected to one another. It is this post war outlook on how things should be.
“The suburbs is right in the middle of things. I grew up in a town of 30,000 people, but we didn’t have a lot of social activities. With the city it was easier to get around and do things by bike, bus, subway, train, or walking. You had something going on every single day. It was a lot easier to get out and see people. With the suburbs you got to travel to see friends from other townships, go to the stores, cafes and restaurants. If you don’t have a vehicle you can feel isolated. There is a major disconnect.” he said.
When Guida set out to write this book he didn’t see it as a novel. He saw it as a series of relatable stories set in a familiar time. He has always had a sense of humor and wanted to incorporate that into this story. The narrator of the book is in his early 30s and has a satirical outlook on life in the suburbs. He is a strong intellect with a sympathetic point of view.
Guida points out how we are all flawed humans and we can find humor anywhere we go.
“I grew up in a fishing community. We lived in an old farmhouse. It was all I knew until I was 18. I moved to the city for college. When I moved back there some things had changed. I would return there again to raise a family. I have spent about 30 years of my life in this suburbia society,” he said. “Now a lot has changed with the younger generation bringing in small businesses and diversity. It is a lot more diverse there than it was when I was growing up. In order to maintain a healthy society you need to think outside of the box.”
Guida said a lot of the issues were prominent in the suburbs. There was a race issue and lack of diversity. There was a lot of us-versus-them mentality.
“There was a huge money element to living in the suburbs. You wanted your kids to grow up in the best neighborhoods and go to all the best schools. Where I grew up everyone had money. You get some of that element here in small towns, but not so much. You can see someone very wealthy living next to someone who is very poor. You don’t get that interaction in the suburbs. When I was in the city you would see someone working at Wall Street sitting next to a construction worker on the subway.” he said.
Guida spent a lot of time coming back to this novel and wasn’t completely satisfied with it until recently. He had a new outlook on things. He has published several pieces from the book over the years, but never as a whole until now.
“I think this book deserves to be read. I think it will appeal a lot to the younger crowd. I was in this place of the narrator back then. You learn a lot as you grow older. I am still the person I was for the most part. I still see humor and beauty in everything,” he said.
The book is available at Amazon, Itunes, Barnes and Noble, and anywhere else books are sold. You can visit George Guida’s work on www.georgeguida.wordpress.com You can find him on all social media platforms.