The UConn Daily Campus

Breaking the publisher’s ground

Student author presents unpublished book at Co-op

By Kim Halpin

Staff Writer

Published: Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Updated: Friday, August 23, 2013

Freyer Book Talk

JONATHAN KULOKOFSKY/The Daily Campus

UConn senior Robert Fryer had the opportunity to present “Triumph,” his unpublished, 400-page manuscript for a crowd at the Co-op Tuesday evening. Fryer is seeking representation so he can continue forth and become a published author.

It's an unusual occurrence, but Robert Freyer, a UConn student and a yet-to-be-published author, unveiled his book Tuesday night in a reading at the Co-op.

Freyer, a senior at UConn, has completed an over 400-page semi-biographical work entitled "Triumph," which he hopes to gain representation for so he can move forward in the publishing process.

"Triumph" is the story of a 19-year-old UConn student who suffers a horrific and life altering car accident when he hits an SUV head on and escapes with less than a 30 percent chance of survival. After beating the physical odds, he then suffers from the emotional battle of identity crisis and deep suicidal depression. In the introduction of the story, the character explains the motivation for writing what is the memoire of his life. His brother tells him that, "Everyone has a story. Some aren't worth telling, but yours is."

The excerpts read at the event were detailed and full of adjectives, as one of the author's goals was to be transparent with the character's emotions. Passages from the chapter titled "Suicide Season" were especially eye opening to the inner workings of suicide contemplation and the rational thoughts of a depressed individual.

One line in particular from this chapter that struck the audience was, "I wouldn't miss me. I wouldn't care," where the character is thinking about suicide. In the end it is the character's relationship with his brother Devin that saves him.

Coming out on the other side of his depression, the character feels that because he has cheated death in the accident, he is bound to lose against it during his next major invasive surgery. In order to triumph over death on Earth he decides that writing his memoir can preserve his legacy. To triumph over death in the afterlife, he becomes more involved in his Christian faith. It allows him to go in confidence to the surgery, where his ultimate fate will be decided.

Working on his memoir was an emotional experience for Freyer and he said that he "cried writing over half of this book." It turned out to be a therapeutic way for him to tangibly work through many of the residual effects of the traumatic event.

Many scenes in the book are, "a pretty good description of UConn if you ask me," said Freyer, as the cultures of various regions around campus are highlighted such as South, West, and Husky Village. He also added that his target audience is college kids because the book deals with many of the topics and issues that college students face, specifically women's rights, depression, identity and sex.

Many of Freyer's family members, fraternity brothers, and friends from the variety of organizations he participates in came out to support his reading.

"[I] hadn't heard his story, but was excited to hear it," said Kyle Gearwar, a second semester science major.

Freyer is a leader on the UConn campus, having been an RA for four years, an orientation leader in 2010 and been involved in Active Minds and Intervarsity Christian Fellowship. He was also given the Donald L. McCullough Leadership Award in the spring of 2011. 

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