The MessageEugenio Volpe’s first eBook, The Message, is a potent view of Afghanistan soldier Adam Zane’s internal unraveling. Returning home to what he sees as the nothingness of Hartford, CT, Zane divides his time between shooting hoops at the local basketball court and camouflaging the self-loathing that now occupies his inner landscape. If someone would shut down the winning streak of hometown traitor and pro basketball superstar Elijah Adams, aka The Message . . . If Zane can find the real trigger of his mounting anxiety and imagined physical descent . . . If his alcoholic mother can stay away from meth and her meth-head boyfriend . . . If he can find the Persian words to label ordinary things with exotic new names . . . If the ifs would stand at ease long enough for him to see what it means to be a man, Zane might find reprieve from the rapidly expanding emptiness. The Message is a pin-pulled grenade clutched in the hands of readers.

“What a talent Eugenio Volpe is! One of the freshest new voices around, I always look forward to reading his work!”
—Ann Hood, best-selling author of The Obituary Writer and The Red Thread

“Volpe’s The Message is an unforgiving update of Hemingway’s ‘A Solider’s Home,’ reminding us with razor-sharp prose and breakneck pacing that home for many young warriors is just as fraught and wounding as those faraway battlefields.”
—Ken Calhoun, author of Black Moon

“Whether describing the nightmarish Hell of battlefield bombs or the everyday Hell of bombed-out Hartford, Volpe writes with an electric eye for our plugged-in tuned-out times. Like all of us, Volpe’s beleaguered ‘loser’ hero has to do ‘Nothing but live with everything.’ Volpe takes us deep into the everything and the nothing of this life ‘in pieces.’ Like a macho Don Delillo, Volpe punches through the white-noise of grim reality into a bigger-than-life no-comfort zone beyond his hero’s—and our own—‘wildest dreams.’”
—Elizabeth Searle, author of four books and Tonya & Nancy: the Rock Opera

Upon selecting the three eBooks in this series, Lee Hope stated, “We see some amazing writing submitted to Solsticelitmag, so we are showcasing these gifted, relevant novellas and story collections in our new eBook series.” The Message—the second SolsticeLit Book in this series, edited by Lee Hope and Jenifer DeBellis—hits Amazon store shelves this July. Read an excerpt of The Message below and use the SUBSCRIBE FOR FREE option to sign up for notifications about this eBook’s official release and other Solsticelitmag news.

For interviews and reading appearances, contact Jenifer DeBellis at


SLM-EugenioVolpe2Boston native Eugenio Volpe is a PEN Discovery Award winner and Pushcart nominee. He teaches creative writing at Arizona State University’s Piper Studio. His short stories have appeared in publications such as Salamander, New York Tyrant, Post Road, Solstice Literary Magazine, and dozens more. Residing in Los Angeles, he and his fiancé Sara are expecting their first child. When not writing, he divides his time between surfing and sipping premium vodkas.



Zane takes a cab home. Along the way, he takes a long hard look at Hartford. Maybe for the last time. He already doesn’t miss it. The nondescript nothingness of vertical and horizontal rectangles. The so-called skyline. There is nothing to even make of the sky itself. Neither the sunrises nor sunsets are ever postcard material. Today is neither sunny nor overcast. Something in between. An anemic haze. Like him. Black or white. Nothing special. He is blah. The city’s only colors are the red and gold curves of a McDonald’s sign, or the red and white of KFC. Taco Bell. Wendy’s. Arby’s. Popeye’s. And so on and so on. They are the only things that give his one good eye anything.

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