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John Michael Cummings


John Michael Cummings

John Michael Cummings is a fifth-generation native of historic Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, site of abolitionist John Brown's raid in 1859. Cummings is the author of the nationally acclaimed coming-of-age novel THE NIGHT I FREED JOHN BROWN (Philomel Books, Penguin Group, 2008), winner of The Paterson Prize and recommended by USA TODAY for Black History Month.

His 2011 short story collection, UGLY TO START WITH (West Virginia University Press), was an IndieFab Award Finalist hailed by The Philadelphia Inquirer for its "sharp observation and surpassing grace."

His latest novel, DON'T FORGET ME, BRO (Stephen F. Austin University Press, 2015) has been excerpted in The Chicago Tribune.

Over the last 20 years, Cummings' short stories and essays have appeared in more than 75 literary journals, including The Iowa Review, North American Review, The Chattahoochee Review, Alaska Quarterly Review and The Kenyon Review. Twice he has been nominated for The Pushcart Prize. His short story "The Scratchboard Project" received an honorable mention in THE BEST AMERICAN SHORT STORIES 2007.

Cummings holds a B.A. in studio art from George Mason University and an MFA in creative writing from University of Central Florida.

He lives in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia.

John Michael Cummings

Books by John Michael Cummings

by John Michael Cummings - Fiction

Stunned by the death of his mentally ill brother, Mark Barr returns to his hometown in West Virginia for Steve's funeral, only to find out that his estranged family has no such plans. He discovers that his family’s memory (as well as his own) of his brother as a broken, hopeless schizophrenic is belied by mounting evidence that Steve had lived a much fuller and more complicated life. Armed with this new knowledge, Mark tears off on a mission to honor his brother’s memory with justice and compassion.