Sunday, March 08, 2015

What is David Joy reading?

Featured at Writers Read: David Joy, author of Where All Light Tends to Go.

His entry begins:
I’m a firm believer in the idea that the cream always rises. I absolutely love when I see someone like T. Geronimo Johnson getting the attention he deserves for his new novel Welcome To Braggsville. So many people seemed to have missed his debut, a debut that was a PEN/Faulkner finalist, an absolutely beautiful novel, Hold It ‘Til It Hurts. I could name a lot of books that are coming out of major houses that are incredible—Benjamin Percy’s The Dead Lands, Jamie Kornegay’s Soil, M.O. Walsh’s My Sunshine Away, Thomas Pierce’s Hall of Small Mammals, Brian Panowich’s Bull Mountain—but the reality is that given this opportunity, I’d rather point you in the direction of some people I think most folks are overlooking.

I can think of loads of books that haven’t gotten the attention they deserved in the past few years: Mark Powell’s The Sheltering, Rusty Barnes’ Reckoning, Sheldon Lee Compton’s The Same Terrible Storm, Charles Dodd White’s A Shelter of Others. All of that being said, I’m going to give you three recommendations (a book of fiction, a book of nonfiction, and a book of poetry) that are coming out or have just came out that I think everyone should be reading.

The first is a novel by Robert Gipe called Trampoline that’s coming out of Ohio University Press (March 2015). Gipe is someone who is not new to a lot of readers in Appalachia, but outside of this region people may not be familiar with his work. I honestly feel like this will be the best debut to come out of Appalachia this year. The narrator, Dawn Jewell, reminds me of some cross between Catcher in the Rye’s Holden Caulfield and...[read on]
About Where All Light Tends to Go, from the publisher:
In the country-noir tradition of Winter’s Bone meets ‘Breaking Bad,’ a savage and beautiful story of a young man seeking redemption.

The area surrounding Cashiers, North Carolina, is home to people of all kinds, but the world that Jacob McNeely lives in is crueler than most. His father runs a methodically organized meth ring, with local authorities on the dime to turn a blind eye to his dealings. Having dropped out of high school and cut himself off from his peers, Jacob has been working for this father for years, all on the promise that his payday will come eventually. The only joy he finds comes from reuniting with Maggie, his first love, and a girl clearly bound for bigger and better things than their hardscrabble town.

Jacob has always been resigned to play the cards that were dealt him, but when a fatal mistake changes everything, he’s faced with a choice: stay and appease his father, or leave the mountains with the girl he loves. In a place where blood is thicker than water and hope takes a back seat to fate, Jacob wonders if he can muster the strength to rise above the only life he’s ever known.
Visit David Joy's website.

Writers Read: David Joy.

--Marshal Zeringue