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Bill Schubart

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Bill Schubart has lived with his family in Vermont since 1947. He writes about Vermont in fiction, humor and opinion pieces.

He has written five books:
The Lamoille Stories (ISBN 978-1-935052-10-4) White River Press – 2008
Fat People (ISBN 978-0-615-39751-1) Magic Hill Press LLC – 2010
Panhead (ISBN 978-0-9834852-6-1) Magic Hill Press LLC – 2012
I am Baybie (ISBN: 978-0-9834852-9-2) Magic Hill Press LLC – 2013
Photographic Memory (ISBN: 978-0-9834852-8-5) Magic Hill Press - 2014

In 1972, he co-founded Philo Records http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philo_Records_(folk) an independent record label that produces international artists in the folk and classical field and which is now part of the Rounder Group. He also founded the Pleiades Music Group, a music publishing company.

At 26, Schubart was elected Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Vermont Arts Council, and then served again at age 41. At 30, he joined the Board of the Vermont Symphony Orchestra. In 1984, he became Chairman of the Vermont Folklife Center. At the request of then-Governor Madeleine Kunin, Schubart chaired the Vermont Statehood Bicentennial Commission, planning the celebration for Vermont’s 200th birthday in 1991.

Schubart has chaired the Arts Council’s Media Panel, Literature Panel and Visual Arts Panels and has served as a resource panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts. In addition, he has advised many non-profit and educational organizations on a variety of cultural and technical projects including the formation of Vermont Public Radio, on whose board he recently served as Chair. Additionally, he has taught courses at the University of Vermont in music, technology and business. He currently is Chair of the VT College of Fine Arts www.VCFA.edu

Schubart was born in New York City in 1945. His father, who was serving as an officer in the Navy, died in the Philippines in World War II before his son was born. His widow moved with her newborn son to Vermont in 1947, where he was educated in Morrisville Public Schools, Phillips Exeter Academy, Kenyon College and the University of Vermont.

Schubart’s great uncle was the renowned photographer and champion of impressionist art, Alfred Stieglitz. Schubart is fluent in French language and culture which he taught before entering communications as an entrepreneur.

He writes and speaks extensively on the media and other civic issues and has written as well for Current. He has served on panels and spoken at numerous industry and media events including Book Expo, The Direct Marketing Association and The Entertainment Marketing Conference. He also writes and publishes opinion and fiction at www.Schubart.com.


Photographic Memory Cover
FICTION & LITERATURE

Photographic Memory

BY Bill Schubart • POSTED ON Oct. 15, 2013

Schubart’s latest (Panhead, 2012, etc.) peruses the photo-album–esque memories and experiences of a Vermont farm boy.

The protagonist of this dreamlike coming-of-age story, farm-boy David, is simple by disposition. David doesn’t so much come into the world as the world—in all its quotidian minutia—comes to him. David is naïve and calm, qualities discouraged by his grandmother, who lives in New York. She mothers him when David’s own mother recedes into postpartum depression. This novel, from start to finish, is David’s life, told objectively with great insight and generous detail. In fact, the narrative provides such a wealth of intricate information, readers may hunger for an actual plot. And while this lack of focus could be a purposeful attempt to stylize memory’s clouded nature—something that could work in a shorter piece—the experiment falls short when there’s an absence of a concrete storyline, conflict or character-driven momentum. Schubart, a gifted writer, uses beautiful language from the very beginning to set the scene: “They gaze at him, caught in silver halide, albumen and salt print memory, these relatives with their sad, dark eyes and sepia surroundings, Fragonard backdrops…and the reticence of hands.” But as the story moves forward, the vibrant, if somewhat purple, language grows dull. When dealing with memories and faded images—as this novel does—it’s best to have terra firma for readers, and unfortunately, this ambitious narrative offers no such placement.

Fans of detailed passages and sprawling life experience as seen from a composed and realistic perspective will enjoy; those who appreciate a linear plotline may not.

Pub Date: Oct. 15, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-9834852-8-5

Page count: 335pp

Publisher: Magic Hill Press

Review Posted Online: July 26, 2013

Awards, Press & Interests

Hometown

Hinesburg, Vermont

Favorite author

Marcel Proust

Favorite book

A La recherche du temps perdu

Day job

writer

Favorite word

serein

Unexpected skill or talent

building rock walls and stairs, logging

Passion in life

empathy

Fat People, 2012 Tales from Real Vermont, 2008

ADDITIONAL WORKS AVAILABLE

Fat People

I am one. In my adult life, I’ve weighed between 240 lbs and 490 lbs. The publishing trade is bulging with remainders about how to lose weight. The diet industry is a $60B a year business with a 94% failure rate. Even hard drug and alcohol recoveries fare better. Yet little is written about how it feels to eat compulsively or what it’s like to be fat – the place where food is at once a pleasure, friend, and virulent enemy. Medical and psychological professionals opine intellectually and scientifically about the disorder, but rarely ask the fat person how they feel, how feelings trigger their addictive behavior? Fat People is simply this fat person’s effort to instill understanding and perhaps empathy for those who struggle constantly with food.

I Am Baybie

In 1976, I met a blind New York City street singer named Reverend Baybie Hoover. Her early life was marked by a succession of tragedies. She was blinded at birth by an inebriated doctor, molested by a foster father and later sterilized as a young woman by a doctor who thought he was doing her a favor. When I knew her Baybie lived in a single-room-occupancy in midtown and every day, rain or shine, she made the subway trip to the Upper East Side to spend the whole day singing on the sidewalk. I eventually produced an album (Philo 1019) of Baybie and Virginia Brown, her friend and singing partner, during which time I came to know her and was captivated by her extraordinary personality. Baybie was a woman who had few, if any, reasons to be grateful. Yet she lived in a state of perpetual gratitude for the little she had. She rarely indulged in any judgment of those visiting misery on her I had never met anyone who saw life and the people she encountered with such generosity of spirit. Just being in her company made me ashamed of every complaint I had ever uttered, and only in putting her life's story in writing could I ever hope to fully recall the grace and gratitude this woman brought into my easy life.
ISBN: 978-0-9834852-9-2

Panhead

Panhead is a glossary of this author’s innate fears … a fear of motorcycles, which I have always ridden; of chainsaws, which I have used since I was fifteen; of being immobilized, which I have been, of academic failure, which I have experienced; of bottomless bodies of water in which I have swum; of initial sexual contacts, which have turned into love in some cases; and of surviving in a life no longer worth living. Somehow, the expression of these fears allays them. Is this not the great value of writing?

The Lamoille Stories

I grew up in a small town in Lamoille County in Northern Vermont. In our largely French Canadian family, I heard countless stories. TV came late to our home so family and community entertainments often took the form of well-told stories. The characters, eccentrics and misadventures that made up these stories have always lived in me. Stories are a uniquely human aspect of humankind. We are defined by our stories, and so as a writer I felt obliged not only to retell them to my children and grandchildren but to write them down.
ISBN: 978-1-935052-10-4