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Gerald Hansen

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Member Since: Nov, 2007

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Lotto-Win Novel Reignites Family Feud
Tuesday, November 27, 2007  1:32:00 AM

by Gerald Hansen

Literary Fiction
Gerald Hansen's new novel "An Embarrassment of Riches" reignites family feud.

New York City, NY (PRWEB) November 19, 2007 -- While Gerald Hansen was writing An Embarrassment of Riches, a novel about a lotto win erupting into a family feud, he had no idea the publication would pour fuel on a decade-old estrangement between his mother and her relatives and leave him fearing for his safety. Although the launch party, held recently in New York City's Village Underground, was a standing-room only success, author Hansen kept stealing nervous glances over his shoulder while signing copies.

"I was terrified my mother's relatives would crash the party," Hansen says. "Who knows what they might have done if they had shown up, but I was prepared. There were undercover police amongst the crowd."

The trouble started months before publication, when a cousin from Northern Ireland "stumbled upon" the novel's website and, in the site's guestbook, derided Hansen for having taken "40 years" to write a book. "I would have had to start writing when I was negative five," Hansen laughs. After that day, the website was suddenly inundated with strange new visitors who scoured the pages for hours each visit. "I really have no way of knowing who the actual hits were from," Hansen admits, "but some of my mother's relatives emigrated from Northern Ireland to Florida and Canada, and day after day hate-filled rants were written in the guestbook about a character in my book, Ursula, who might be mistaken for my mother. And those comments were written by visitors from Florida and Canada. I had to shut the guestbook down."

An Embarrassment of Riches, newly released and riding high in sales on and, is set in Hansen's mother's hometown of Derry, Northern Ireland, and is a family saga, black comedy, love story and courtroom drama dealing with the trials of Ursula and Jed Barnett. In it, Ursula coerces her Yank husband Jed to retire in Derry, hoping to atone for her youthful sins as a collaborator with the IRA in the 1970s. After Ursula's lotto win, however, her sister-in-law Fionnuala Flood rallies the family against Ursula. The novel boasts a high pedigree of collaborators, with a cover by famous Korean illustrator Swan Park (who did last year's Showgirl Princess, Kylie Minogue's children's book) and an author photo by red-hot Brian Appio (Kanye West, Lindsay Lohan, Green Day, etc.).

Hansen admits that his mother and father did retire in Derry, did win the Irish lottery, and relations between the families did sour. "But that's where the similarity ends," he says. "If my Irish aunts and uncles and cousins read the book, they would realize that."

Thankfully, unwanted guests didn't show at the book's launch, but you can show your interest by purchasing a copy on or The website (with a new guestbook) is
An Embarrassment of Riches

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