Editorial Reviews for this title:
The Bloodworths come from Ackerman's Field, Tennessee. Theirs is a rough and violent past and Boyd Bloodworth - father of the hero, Fleming - is intent on continuing the tradition. The year is 1952 and E.F. Bloodworth, Boyd's father, has returned after 20 years of roaming.
In his second novel, Provinces of Night
, William Gay re-creates the oppressive, evocative atmosphere of the American Deep South that he first explored in his debut novel, The Long Home
. Against the backdrop of rural Tennessee in the 1950s, our teenage protagonist, Fleming Bloodworth, finds himself alone in the family home after his father, Boyd, abandons him to hunt down and kill his wife's lover. At the same time, Fleming's grandfather decides to return to his family after 20 years of self-imposed exile. He returns to discover that his remaining two sons, Warren and Brady, are in turn an alcoholic womanizer and a Bible-quoting fantasist who enjoys putting curses on his enemies.
This is a self-consciously big novel in the Southern tradition that could easily have buckled under the weight of its own ambition. Instead, Gay pulls it off with ease, presenting us with a stream of unforgettable characters. While the central themes of love, loyalty, and forgiveness are explored seriously and sensitively, the finely wrought prose is also sprinkled with moments of genuine humor as Gay proves that he's not afraid to gently mock his gang of Southern eccentrics. This is a wonderful novel and a worthy successor to the tradition it so obviously admires. --Jane Morris, Amazon.co.uk
" PROVINCES OF NIGHT is simply brilliant. William Gay writes with such astonishing clarity and authenticity that every single word inside this book rings true. Poetic and visceral, his words excavate a corner of the South with a new standard of excellence and readers and writers everywhere are the better for it. A must-read for anyone aware of the changing pulse of American literature."
-- Melinda Haynes, author of Mother of Pearl
" PROVINCES OF NIGHT is an old-fashioned barrel-aged shot of Tennessee storytelling. Gay's tale of ancient wrongs and men with guns is high-proof stuff."
-Elwood Reid, author of What Salmon Know and Midnight Sun
" PROVINCES OF NIGHT is one magnificent achievement, a wise, spare, hilarious, bighearted tale delivered in language as lovely as the Tennessee hills at dusk. To the list of premier Southern writers that includes Harry Crews, Barry Hannah, and Lewis Nordan, add the name of William Gay."
-Tom Franklin, author of Poachers
"It is time to stop calling William Gay an exciting new voice. In PROVINCES OF NIGHT he proves that he is simply one of our finest voices."
--Steve Yarbrough, author of The Oxygen Man
"A staggering talent. Almost a personal revival of handwork in fiction--superb--must be listened to and felt."
-- Barry Hannah, author of Airships and Geronimo Rex
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