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Neighborhood author publishes first novel inspired by a true family story

Scott-Driscoll-resizedPhinney-Greenwood resident Scott Driscoll, a University of Washington writing instructor, will present a writing workshop on Wednesday at Richard Hugo House in honor of the publication of his first novel, “Better You Go Home.” The book is available online through Coffee Town Press.

A married man’s unexpected departure from Czechoslovakia― with the neighbor woman and her children―is at the heart of a mysterious trail of true events that has inspired University of Washington writing instructor Scott Driscoll to write his first novel, Better You Go Home. “At a family funeral in the early 90s, I learned about a cache of letters written in Czech to my aunt. I had them translated and learned that a male relative had left his wife and three children in a remote farm village in Bohemia prior to World War One.” Driscoll continues, “I learned my relative and the neighbor woman married bigamously in Iowa. The other fact revealed was the presence of a child named Anezka―who seems to have simply disappeared. I suspect she was their illicit child.”

Not long after, Driscoll visited his relative’s village and began to speculate. “What had become of the unidentified child? What if my life had deployed on her side of the Iron Curtain? Once that question lodged in my psyche, like a small wound that wouldn’t heal, I knew I had to write this story.” The work of literary fiction that trip inspired is Better You Go Home. The novel traces the story of Seattle attorney Chico Lenoch who is diabetic, nearing kidney failure and needs a donor organ. He travels to the Czech Republic in search of his half-sister who may be able to help save his life. What Chico does not count on is unearthing long-buried family secrets.

Wednesday’s book launch and writing workshop starts at 7 p.m. at Richard Hugo House, 1634 11th Ave. Driscoll will also present reading and writing workshops at 7 p.m. Nov. 13 at Third Place Books in Lake Forest Park, at at 7 p.m. Nov. 15 at University Book Store.