Arlington author Gary Goshgarian has never had a near-death experience, but he has always been fascinated with the phenomenon as it relates to two basic mysteries of human existence: where we came from and where we go.
“Since at this age I’m closer to the latter,’’ he quips, “I decided to write about near-death experiences.’’
Published on June 21 by Macmillan’s Forge Books division, “Tunnel Vision’’ is the eighth novel for Goshgarian (who has written his last five under the pen name Gary Braver). In this thriller, a graduate student’s brush with death generates debate between religious beliefs of an afterlife and the science of neurobiology. According to Goshgarian, a surprise ending satisfies both sides.
Goshgarian said he interviewed about a dozen people who reported having near-death experiences involving out-of-body sensations, feelings of tranquility and unconditional love, and the sense of passing through a tunnel into a celestial light to greet dead relatives and spiritual beings.
While Goshgarian has seen no evidence himself of a spiritual world, he said, he has great respect for those who have.
“As in all my novels, I hope readers see ‘Tunnel Vision’ as a book on a provocative subject within a well-told story with well-defined characters,’’ said Goshgarian, who teaches fiction writing at Northeastern University, where he won the Excellence in Teaching award in 1980 and was a nominee last year.
“At the same time, with all the research I’ve done,’’ he added, “I want them to feel as if they’ve learned something, and closed the book with something to think about.’’
Goshgarian will be signing books Friday at 7 p.m. at the Barnes & Noble store in Nashua, and Saturday at noon at Borders Books at the CambridgeSide Galleria in Cambridge, and will speak July 27 at 7 p.m. at the Peabody Institute Library in Danvers.
For more information, visit www.garybraver.com.
HONORS FOR STUDENTS: The Middlesex Community College Foundation awarded scholarships to four students at its Celebrity Forum, held last month at Lowell Memorial Auditorium.
The recipients included Carlisle resident Sergio Salvucci I (inset), who was enrolled in the college’s Lowell Connections program, in partnership with the University of Massachusetts Lowell.
After two semesters at Middlesex, Salvucci - a composer who plays six instruments - is transferring to UMass Lowell this fall to major in music performance with an emphasis in guitar.
Joining him at the ceremony were Chansettika Phorn of Lowell, a native of Cambodia; Fiona Logan of Wilmington; and Kerri Sullivan of North Andover, the daughter of the late Paul H. Sullivan, a popular radio broadcaster and adjunct communications professor at Middlesex.
BLANKETED IN LOVE: Carlisle Girl Scouts in Troops 72663 and 72639 recently made 20 colorful blankets and hand-decorated gift bags for pediatric patients at Emerson Hospital in Concord.
Representatives from the troops presented the blankets at a recent ribbon-cutting ceremony for the first phase of a new pediatric unit at the hospital. The facility features remodeled, private patient rooms; an interactive playroom; a dishwasher to clean toys; a washer and dryer for children’s belongings and parents’ clothing; new chair beds in patient rooms; an office for private consultations; an updated security system; and a new nurses’ station designed for pediatric patients.
The three-phase project is being funded by proceeds from the hospital’s Centennial Ball. The “Big Party to Benefit Little Patients’’ will take place on Nov. 12 - exactly 100 years after the dedication of Emerson Hospital - at the Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel.
For more information, visit www.emersonhospital.org/centennialball.
NEW ON BOARD: Indian Hill Music, a nonprofit education and performance center in Littleton, has named five new board members for this fiscal year: Armand Diarbekirian of Maynard; Karen Riggert of Groton; Mark Scheier of Acton; John Spinello of Chelmsford; and Ryan Dunn of Brookline, N.H.
The organization also recognized three retiring directors: David Moulton of Groton, Jack Wool of Ayer, and Warren Chase of Westford.
WHO’S WHAT WHERE: David Hornfischer (inset) of Framingham was recently named a director of the BoSox Club, a nonprofit organization that has supported the
Hornfischer, who recently retired as senior vice president and treasurer of the Berklee College of Music in Boston, is also a board member of the Amazing Things Arts Center in downtown Framingham, where he is treasurer and host of the venue’s monthly Amazing Open Comedy Mique Show.
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