Media Contact:
Bernard Schweizer
Founder & Director, Heresy Press


Heresy Press Launches First Novel, Deadpan, by
Best-Selling Author & Screenwriter Richard Walter

Publisher Announces Release of Deadpan, Timely Ground-Breaking Satirical Novel Wielding Comedy As Weapon Against Bigotry & Hate Speech

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Mar. 1, 2024 — Heresy Press proudly announces the official launch of Deadpan, a ground-breaking satirical novel by best-selling author and screenwriter Richard Walter. Wielding comedy as a weapon against bigotry and using mirth as a balm to heal the wounds of division, intolerance, and anger, this novel not only invokes the legacy of Mark Twain, but it also exemplifies the tradition of Jewish humor by deconstructing stereotypes and exposing them to withering laughter.

DeadpanDeadpan is a quintessential Heresy Press book—gloriously incorrect and daring in its zany, madcap humor, while simultaneously bolstering the principles of liberal humanism. An equal-opportunity offender, Deadpan combines no-holds-barred comedy with a nuanced regard for history and human motivation. Set during the 1970s international oil crisis, the novel’s protagonist—a vaguely antisemitic failing West Virginia Buick Dealer—is magically transformed into a beloved Jewish comedian.

Deadpan Release Marks Timely Cultural Moment

With late 2023 marking a sharp global rise in antisemitism, the book’s subject matter strikes at a timely moment. As David Bernstein, author of Woke Antisemitism noted, “Amid a resurgence in global antisemitism and furious identity politics, the nightly scenes of angry mobs and all the grim commentary, we needed a comedic break. Deadpan provides a humorous but serious story of an antisemite turned Jewish comedian, reminding us that the most potent—and underused—weapon against bigotry and hate is farce and laughter.”

A pop culture and media influencer before there was such a term, Deadpan’s author Richard Walter has written best-selling fiction and nonfiction, and is a celebrated storytelling educator, screenwriter, script consultant, lecturer and retired professor who led the screenwriting program in the film school at UCLA for several decades. He has written scripts for the major studios and television networks; lectured on screenwriting and storytelling and conducted master classes throughout North America, Europe, Asia, Australia, South America, and the Middle East.

Heresy Press’s Mission Celebrates Outspoken Voices to Meet the Demand of Today’s Robust Readers

Heresy Press was founded in 2023 with support from Joyce Carol Oates, Steven Pinker, Nadine Strossen, and other notable writers and public intellectuals as an initiative to counter the malaise of timidity, undeclared censorship, and identity-essentialism that currently plagues much of mainstream publishing. Heresy Press publishes outspoken authors of all backgrounds, requiring only that their work demonstrate literary excellence.

“The readers we aim to reach are not frail creatures in need of protection from potentially discomfiting experiences but resilient, curious, and adventurous individuals,” said Bernard Schweizer, Founder & Director of Heresy Press. “Deadpan is a great example of boundary-pushing, courageous literature that combines artistic refinement with true social relevance.”

Visit the Heresy Press Deadpan page to order the book, learn more, and to read the latest reviews and a Q&A with the author.

Deadpan is the first of several new books Heresy has lined up in 2024, with The Hermit by Katerina Grishakova, Animal by Alan Fishbone, and Unsettled States by Tom Casey being released in the coming months. Also available is the publisher’s recently launched collection of short stories, Nothing Sacred: Outspoken Voices in Contemporary Fiction, offering the reading public a compilation of spellbinding stories on topics as diverse as crumbling male privilege, moonshine whiskey brewing, language policing, immigrant experience, sexual transgression,and plain heresy.

About Heresy Press

Founded in January 2023, Heresy Press is here to give oxygen to unfettered creativity and to provide a home for authors and books that dare to imagine freely, without self-censorship and fear. Fiction in all of its forms is the mainstay of Heresy Press, with adult literary fiction, satire, comedy, and speculative fiction leading the charge. Heresy Press LLC is a member of the Independent Book Publishers Association. For more information, please visit