Randolph Splitter

Birth Pangs

Peter Kovacs teaches classes at a community college and tends bar to make ends meet. When a newborn baby is found in a trash can in an alley next to the school, Kovacs has personal reasons for getting involved, including his early life in foster care and the traumatic loss of his and his ex-wife’s unborn child. With the help of a colleague who teaches photography and a detective from the police department’s Children and Family Division, both women, Kovacs tries to track down the missing mother.

Although he develops closer relationships with the two, the search seems to be going nowhere until a lead is provided by one of Kovacs’s students, a young woman he has accused of plagiarism and who accuses him, in turn, of making advances to her. However, a parallel narrative beginning in Japan and involving a Japanese young man who becomes one of the photographer’s students seems to point in another direction. What really happened? Why? And what difference does it make in Peter’s own life?

Selected Works

Novel
a wryly comic coming-of-age story that uses the model of our smart, sensitive primate cousins to take a closer look at adolescence, masculinity, and what it means to be human
a literary mystery about home, abandonment, and disconnection triggered by the discovery of a near-dead newborn in a trash can
Randolph Splitter's The Ramadan Drummer opens as a conventional (but compelling) mystery... At the same time, Splitter's mystery goes much deeper. In his novel, he explores questions of faith and fanaticism—and of love's ability to transcend both... The book soars because of its honest engagement with human complexity. —Mark Brazaitis, author of many books of fiction and poetry, including The River of Lost Voices: Stories from Guatemala, Julia & Rodrigo, and Truth Poker
      The Ramadan Drummer is an ingenious detective novel set in the contact zone of cultures in an unnamed American city, where violence is always possible but where humanity endures. Splitter tackles the great issues of our time with wit and vision, and I couldn’t put this novel down. —Elizabeth Mckenzie, author of Stop That Girl, MacGregor Tells the World, and The Portable Veblen

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