Writer with Greencastle connection releases book

PAT FRIDGEN
Elaine Pascale’s first novel is a collection of short stories with a feminist theme. The front and back cover describe the contents. She is the daughter of former school superintendent Robert Pascale.

The daughter of a former school superintendent has just written her first book. Elaine Pascale, 38, Cape Cod, penned 'If Nothing Else, Eve, We've Enjoyed the Fruit.'

She is the daughter of Dr. Robert Pascale and Dana (Pascale) Happel. Dr. Pascale served in the Greencastle-Antrim School District from 1989 to 1994 until his death at the age of 49. The year her dad started in Greencastle, Pascale graduated from Shippensburg Area High School and went east to Emerson College. On the occasions she returned home, she visited her parents on Clay Hill Road. She majored in creative writing, earned a master's degree in English Literature from the University of Massachusetts and a doctorate in education from Capella University. She now teaches English to foreign students at Suffolk University.

"I ended up marrying a Boston boy and never left," Pascale said by phone.

The book is a collection of short stories. The protagonist begins to think for herself in a surreal, oppressive society undergoing gender wars. She talks to grapes and cantaloupes that convince her to commit murder. The fruits tell some of the stories.

Pascale has long been interested in feminist dark fiction. "I enjoy this style of literature," she said.

Happel can't figure out why. "Elaine has written like that since fourth grade. Bob and I used to look at each other and think 'Where is this coming from?' It's very bizarre and nothing we ever watched on TV. But she was good at it and we encouraged her."

Part of the book was written 10 years ago and Pascale pulled each entry into one coordinated piece. "The first story deals with the Adam and Eve myth," she explained. The book cover pictures a woman's arm with a partially eaten apple next to it. On the back side is a snake curling around her hat.

One reviewer said of the finished work, "Pascale writes in the realm with the giants. She is one step past fantastic that is hard to define, and a little frightening, and yet we yearn to travel there as often as possible."

Happel, now living in Chambersburg, has read some of the stories but not the entire manuscript. "The style is not mine, but I find myself captivated after the first couple paragraphs. I am hooked. I'm very proud of Elaine. She has a gift. She's written as long as I can remember."

'If Nothing Else' is published by Withersin Press in California. "They're wonderful," Pascale said. "I've published short stories elsewhere. Withersin has a horror magazine and are new to publishing books. I am their second book author. It worked out for both of us."

Pascale and her husband Michael Costa have two children, Christopher, 13, and Sierra, 11.

The book is available through the publisher or online.