Thoughtful words perform real magic. When combined into well-crafted sentences and woven into paragraphs, they bring readers to tears, evoke laughter, and, at times, do both simultaneously. They transport brain synapses to rich, unforeseen universes. They illuminate surprising corners of the human psyche. They generate empathy, change perspectives, and inspire change. They create meaning and shared experiences, which miraculously travel through time and space. I aspire to write thoughtful words that perform such real magic.
Having grown up the son of two English professors, I learned at an early age to respect language, revere grammar, and recognize artistic storytelling. The act of writing—stories, poems, and legal briefs (for a time)—has always comforted me and helped me process my interactions with this dazzling and oft-bewildering world of ours. At this point in my writing career, I feel very fortunate and humbled to have the opportunity to share some of my words with you. I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I enjoyed writing them.
As the title implies, my protagonist, Cecil Reitmeister, lives an unconventional lifestyle. He is obsessed with his microbiome, the community of microorganisms (bacteria, archaea, fungi, and viruses) that inhabit his body. He resists washing, welcomes dirt in all forms, and believes that he can save the world if he perfects his internal ecosystem. But his dream comes crashing down when the police knock on his door. They condemn his home and kick him out onto the streets. Cecil is unlike anyone I’ve ever met, yet he is also like everyone I know: we all aspire to greatness in our own ways, and, at some point along the way, we all bump up into reality. And that is when life really starts getting interesting. Read more here, where you will find a full synopsis.
“Bold, timely, thought-provoking, scary–Joshua Harris’s Unorthodoxy is all these things and more. The novel as an inventive and beautifully warped call to arms.”
—Author Peter Orner
“A chance-taking dark comedy about loneliness, homelessness, love, and the micro biosphere
of its protagonist…. This debut novel will unnerve and please you”
—Author Paul Hoover
“This book was a thrill to read. I’ve never seen a protagonist like Joshua AH Harris’s Cecil before—I found myself identifying and connecting with him in ways I wasn’t expecting.”
—Danielle Renfrew Behrens
“If you’ve never laughed and felt your skin crawl at the same time, Unorthodoxy is your book. It takes Victor Frankenstein and Dostoevsky’s Underground Man, cultures and pickles the admixture till it’s an otherworldly blue… then adds a hint of Hitchcock’s Norman Bates.”
—Author James Wallenstein
“This is a fun read mixed with tragedy… the story of survival and the will
to be accepted and worthy with a purpose…”
—Sue Hoyt Aiken