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Binding: Paperback
ISBN: 978-1-57131-104-7
Pages: 208
Publish Date: June 2013
Genre: Fiction


A Novel

BY Jon Pineda

When nine-year-old Tom Serafino’s twin sister Teagan suffers a debilitating brain injury, a police investigation implicates his playmate Mario’s uncle—an immigrant, transient worker known as Shoe. Innocent of the crime but burdened by his own childhood tragedy, Shoe takes the blame for what is in fact an accident caused by his young nephew, ensuring Mario’s chance at a future publicly unscarred.

The lines between innocence and guilt, evasions and half-truths, love and duty are blurred. Can a lie born from resignation, fear, and love transform tragedy into hope? And is the life of one man worth the price of that lie?

Told in contained kernels of vivid scenes alive with imagery and with thematic echoes of John Burnham Schwartz’s Reservation Road and Northwest Corner, Apology explores how the decisions we make in an instant reverberate in the years to come. Apology further paints a portrait of sacrifice within two immigrant families raising first-generation Americans. It explores the measure of duty we have toward one another, and the extent to which abandoning the wreckage of family and the past often leads to unexpected consequences.



  • Watch the book trailer for Apology:

Editorial ReviewGoodreads Review

"Apology is structured around an essential and enduring question, and when its characters do the right thing for the wrong reason (or vice versa), the effects of those decisions are strongly felt — and remind the reader of the literary power of decisiveness."

The Star Tribune

"Writing in simple and stunning prose, Pineda lets readers experience events as they're happening. Reminiscent of Alessandro Baricco’s Silk, this novel will appeal to lovers of literary fiction."

—Ashanti White, Library Journal (starred review)

"Pineda is a writer who knows his craft and lives his characters; this is evident from the first pages of his book. There was never a moment that felt like a misstep or something that didn't ring true."


"In simple and elegant prose, Pineda explores the consequences of a tragic accident in the lives of two families. Pineda is a poet and a master at suggesting rather than describing, involving the reader at a deeper and more personal level."

—Pierre Camy, Schuler Books, Grand Rapids, MI

"Incessant editing is something that comes from Pineda's poetry background. So, too, is the way he tells the story: in a long line of tiny, imagistic scenes that often focus attention on small things going on in the background. The resultant prose is tight and stretched over the lean frame of a book weighing in at just under 200 pages. But those pages pack a punch."

Virginia Living

"Funny, heartwarming...about living with mistakes, learning to cope with consequences and seeking forgiveness."

The Virginian-Pilot

"Pineda wraps a sprawling story into 200 spare pages that read together as poetry and prose both."

Winona Daily News

"Whether in fiction, poetry, or memoir, Jon Pineda consistently explores the dangers of childhood and the mistakes we make and long to remedy. With stripped-down yet lyrical language, his writing pierces the sudden moments in which lives inevitably change."

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Jon Pineda

Born in Charleston, South Carolina, Jon Pineda is the author of a memoir, Sleep in Me, a novel, Apology, and multiple books of poetry. He lives in Virginia.

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