J.J. Steinfeld

Madhouses in Heaven, Castles in Hellpreviousnext Ekstasis Editions

J. J. Steinfeld’s sixteenth book Madhouses in Heaven, Castles in Hell is an eclectic mix of 30 stories embracing and exploring the themes and the psychological terrain — from the absurd to the existential, the surreal to the spiritual — which the author has been dealing with in all of his writing over the years. He grapples with the desire for meaning and sense in the human condition while confronting the chaotic and painful and sometimes strange aspects of history. Whether dealing with the struggles of children and grandchildren of Holocaust survivors, of individuals searching for purpose and sense through creativity and love, or dealing with the turmoil of their ordinary and extraordinary lives, these stories reflect on love and lovelessness and madness, the worldly and the otherworldly, through the realistic and the fantastical.

In the thirty stories of Madhouses in Heaven, Castles in Hell, J. J. Steinfeld continues to chronicle the enigma of modern life, as he has done for more than three decades in sixteen insightful and engaging books of poetry and fiction. These are fearless, funny, nightmarish and wildly entertaining stories of existential crisis and the struggle for clarity. When it comes to making gripping drama out of the human desire to connect with one another and find meaning in a world that won’t give an inch, J. J. Steinfeld has few equals.
— Ian Colford, author of Evidence and The Crimes of Hector Tomás

One of the characters in this new collection of finely honed short stories, which, like much of J. J. Steinfeld's work, is haunted by the Holocaust, uses the phrase “existential funk” to describe the region his mind has been inhabiting. “Existential comedy or madness” might work for some of the other stories. Not many writers do either funk or dark comedy better.
— Dave Margoshes, author of Wiseman’s Wager and God Telling a Joke and Other Stories

Fiction writer, poet, and playwright J. J. Steinfeld lives on Prince Edward Island, where he is patiently waiting for Godot’s arrival and a phone call from Kafka. While waiting, he has published sixteen books. More than 300 of his short stories and 700 poems have appeared in anthologies and periodicals in every Canadian province and internationally in eighteen countries, and over forty of his one-act plays and a handful of full-length plays have been performed in Canada and the United States.

ISBN 978-1-77171-111-1
214 pages
5.5 x 8.5
Now available

For Canadian
For US
For international