Monday, August 02, 2010

What is Alden Bell reading?

The current featured contributor at Writers Read: Alden Bell, author of the newly released novel, The Reapers Are the Angels.

One book tagged in his entry:
Tobacco Road by Erskine Caldwell.

This is the book I’m reading right now. I’m about half way through it, and I’m loving every page. Between starving depression-era farmers, women preachers with pig noses, hare-lip girls in heat, and a curious fixation on turnips, this book has it all. There is something about literature in the Southern tradition that loves to indulge in freakishness—as if to imply that failing crops and hard times lead one inevitably to a perversely fractured outlook on the world. Whatever’s behind it, I always find myself moved by the South’s grotesque human landscapes. Contemporary literature spends too much time, I think, trying to put an accurate mirror up to life. Isn’t the distortion of a funhouse mirror much more...[read on]
Among the early praise for The Reapers Are the Angels:
The Reapers Are the Angels is a knockout, a fresh take on the zombie novel, with a heroine you can't help but root for as she braves the land of the living dead and the dead living, pursued by a foe far more dangerous than flesh-eaters and with the beacon of redemption flickering ahead. Alden Bell will snatch your attention and keep it until long after you close this book.”
—Tom Franklin, author of Hell at the Breach

“Alden Bell provides an astonishing twist on the southern gothic: like Flannery O'Connor with zombies.”
—Michael Gruber, New York Times bestselling author of The Book of Air and Shadows

“Alden Bell has managed something improbable and striking: a disconcertingly beautiful tale of zombie apocalypse. The Reapers Are the Angels is soaked in all the blood that any horror fan could desire, the effluvia rendered in a high Southern Gothic style as redolent of rotting magnolia as anything written by William Faulkner or Cormac McCarthy.”
—Charlie Huston, author of Sleepless
Alden Bell is a pseudonym for Joshua Gaylord, whose first novel, Hummingbirds, was released in Fall 2009. He teaches at a New York City prep school and is an adjunct professor at The New School.

Learn more about Alden Bell's work at Joshua Gaylord's website.

The Page 69 Test: Hummingbirds.

Writers Read: Alden Bell.

--Marshal Zeringue