Barnehama, Elan: Escape Route

In Escape Route (Running Wild Press 2022), Elan Barnehama’s new novel, it’s 1968 and 13-year-old Zach is about to become a bar mitzvah. That’s when his sister changes his life by switching his radio from AM to FM. Zach’s family lives in Queens, and he’s comfortable roaming the New York City subways, heading to the public library, the Metropolitan Museum, and all kinds of diners. Zach is in accelerated classes, smart but confused. He worries about his older sister at Columbia, the war in Vietnam, his grandparents, and how his parents escaped Europe during the Holocaust. He meets a cute girl and is beyond relieved to have his first girlfriend, his first kiss. He thinks about music, math, religion, drugs, and more than anything else, baseball. He doesn’t know when to stop asking annoying questions or irritating the people around him with his goofiness. And just in case there’s another Holocaust and they have to leave the country; he joins the AAA auto club and figures out an “Escape Route.”

Elan Barnehama grew up in Queens, NYC, has lived in several places on both coasts, and currently lives in Boston. He earned an MFA from UMass, Amherst, and a BA from Binghamton University. He writes literary fiction, flash fiction, and creative non-fiction, which has appeared in Drunk Monkeys, Entropy, Rough Cut Press, Boston Accent, Jewish Fiction, RedFez, HuffPost, the New York Journal of Books, Public Radio, and elsewhere. Barnehama was a Writer-In-Residence at Wildacres NC, and Fairhope Center for the Writing Arts in Fairhope, AL. He’s the fiction editor at Forth Magazine LA, and at different times has taught college writing-currently at American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York, worked with at-risk youth, had a gig as a radio news guy, coached high school baseball, and did a mediocre job as a short-order cook. When he’s not reading or writing, Barnehama likes running and walking urban landscapes, travelling to see friends, seeing new places, coffee shops, diners, libraries, and public spaces. He remains a Mets fan.