The year is 1952, and E. F. Bloodworth has returned to his home - a forgotten corner of Tennessee - after twenty years of roaming to find the three ...Show synopsisThe year is 1952, and E. F. Bloodworth has returned to his home - a forgotten corner of Tennessee - after twenty years of roaming to find the three sons he abandoned are grown and angry: Warren is a womanizing alcoholic, Boyd is obsessed with hunting down his wife's lover, and Brady puts hexes on his enemies from his mother's porch. Only Fleming, the old man's grandson, can see beyond all the hatred and strife and through the love of Raven Lee, a beauty from another town, he finds the courage to reject his family's curse.Hide synopsis
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William Gay writes scenes like Impressionists paint on canvass. Little bits of sensory cues dot his every sentence. Each small pattern is a miniature work of art in and of itself. Together, they put you inside cabin kitchens and ramshackle juke joints and gas stations next to wide places in dusty roads among the hard workers and hard drinkers, steel-hearted villains and a parade of clever natives who live among the hills and hollows of a rural world that had not yet been homogenized into the strip-center chain-store sameness that drones through the South and all of America these days.
Wiliam Gay tells a good story. The plot alone is worth the time to read this book. But like all of Gay's work, "Provinces of Night" is so much more than a story.
When I read, I keep a yellow highlighter nearby so I can mark passages that touch me in such ways that I'd like to re-read them when I have time. When I read the work of William Gay, I often wind up with more yellow on the pages than white. He's that good. Hardly a passage goes by without coming onto a line that makes me say to myself, "I should print that off, put it on a frame and hang it on my wall."
See for yourself. And check out "The Long Home" (Gay's first published novel) and "Twilight" (his most recent one). And stay tuned for his new book -- "The Lost Country." It is scheduled for release in late May of 2009, but I'm not sure if it will make that date. I sure hope so.
Read all the William Gay you can.
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