Rose novel named INDIES award winner


Bywater Books has announced that its novel, As If Death Summoned by Alan E. Rose, was named a winner in the 22nd annual Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Awards.

Rose’s haunting novel about the AIDS epidemic won the gold award in the LGBT category. Foreword Reviews editors cited it, writing: “As heartwarming and hope-giving as it is heartbreaking, As If Death Summoned showcases the best and worst aspects of the fight against HIV.”

The novel was released on World AIDS Day, December 1, 2020, by Amble Press, an imprint of Bywater Books.

The news came as a total surprise to Rose, who lives in north Clark County.

“I was surprised and pleased when the book was named a finalist in spring, but I never thought I had a chance of actually winning,” said Rose.

Rose said that he had wanted to write the book ever since the 1990s.

“I promised myself that I would someday tell the stories of what happened here, what I witnessed in the midst of a modern plague,” he said in a news release. “Not just the premature deaths and suffering, but also all the incredible kindness and courage and compassion I witnessed. And the humor, death-defying humor in the face of death.”

As If Death Summoned is written from the point of view of staff at a community AIDS organization in the 1980s and ‘90s. Rose worked at Cascade AIDS Project in Portland from 1993 until 1999, when he came to Longview as the director of Community Services for the Lower Columbia Community Action Program.

Also, much of the AIDS literature is written about the epidemic in its epicenters of New York City, San Francisco, and Los Angeles, Rose’s novel takes place in Oregon.

“The epidemic was in small cities and rural communities, too,” said Rose. “We had our stories, too.”

Receiving news of his award, Rose said it wasn’t celebration he felt so much as “a quiet peace. That I had kept my word. That I fulfilled my promise.”

Rose coordinates the monthly WordFest events, hosts KLTV’s “Book Chat” program, and is the book reviewer for the Columbia River Reader.

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