Chrysalis Press, August 2021
Before Pittsburgh by Kasie Whitener
Tony is dead and Brian’s world has unraveled. Still grappling with the harsh reality that his best friend’s suicide was not a nightmare that he just hasn’t awakened from, Brian plummets into a dark period of drinking and desperate actions.— Before Pittsburgh, Kasie Whitener
Kasie Whitener’s first novel, After December, introduced readers to Brian Listo and his circle of friends who come together after tragedy strikes one of their own, and they struggle to make sense of what happened.
In this follow up, some time has passed and Brian is seeking healing and redemption for his ingrained belief that it should have been him, not Tony, that’s dead, Brian travels across the U.S. and Spain for answers. He starts counting the days in Barcelona: bar fights and threesomes. The months in San Francisco: short stories and a new romance. The seasons in Tucson, Nashville, Manila, and Seattle: The Crew growing up and apart. Three years unfold between before-Tony-died and after. Brian thinks he has finally left Virginia and its ghosts behind.
A near miss on September 11th brings time to a standstill and Brian faces a new devastation.
With so much work to be done Before Pittsburgh, Brian’s world expands in unexpected ways but contracts in the same old patterns of loss, redemption, and mourning. Can he earn his place in the lives of the people he loves? Or will he remain disconnected, unforgiven, and alone?
Raw and emotional, this book pulls back the layers of grief, recovery, and healing after a friend dies by suicide.