The Complicated Calculus (and Cows) of Carl Paulsen

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Set on a small and struggling family dairy operation in southern Minnesota, The Complicated Calculus (and Cows) of Carl Paulsen follows fifteen-year-old Carl as he confronts his crush on Andy Olnan, a handsome and confident but secretive "city boy" recently transplanted to farm life from Minneapolis who may or may not share the same feelings. At the same time, Carl and his father clash over the future of their farm, a legacy of Carl's late mother: how do they honor her dream for the family while also ensuring financial security? Carl discovers his own resilience in the face of grief, adult-sized decisions, and unrequited love, and along the way learns to cope with both the challenges and rewards of being different.

About the Author

Gary Eldon Peter is the author of Oranges, winner of the Gold Medal for LGBT+ fiction in the Independent Publisher Book Awards, the Midwest Book Award, and a finalist for the Minnesota Book Award. His work has appeared in numerous literary journals and has been performed on the public radio program Selected Shorts. He earned an MFA in Creative Writing from Sarah Lawrence College and is a faculty member at the University of Minnesota

"Carl Paulsen wants to belong to this world, broken though it may be. There is a magic in this book, magic that makes us feel we are in this young man's heart as he struggles to find his place in the world. The words shimmer with gentle, heartbreaking empathy. The result is a beautiful piece of fiction, sure to make anyone who reads it feel less alone." --N. West Moss, author of Flesh and Blood and The Subway Stops at Bryant Park


Publisher: Fitzroy Books
Pub date: July 05, 2022
164 pages
Format: Paperback