The Book of Bunk: A Fairy Tale of the Federal Writers' Project

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9780979505492: The Book of Bunk: A Fairy Tale of the Federal Writers' Project
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Paul Dent, penniless and recently orphaned, hops a train in deepest Dust Bowl Oklahoma in the Spring of 1936, and winds up attached to the Federal Writers Project, one of the least understood, shortest-lived, and most impossibly ambitious government undertakings in the history of the country. He is assigned to capture the essence of the mountain towns of eastern North Carolina for a series of travel books no one believes will ever be published. There, among writers and cheats, arsonists and Reconstructionists, blind and deaf children and disease-ridden Senators, Paul will meet the love of his life and her lover, witness the awakening of one great novelist and the possible resurrection of another, discover more than one America that could have been, and confront the truth about his relationship with his unpredictable, brilliant, and Machiavellian older brother. There are echoes here of Laurel and Hardy, Bonnie and Clyde, Powell and Loy, Cain and Abel. It s a book of bunk, in other words. A collection of lies. A creation myth about a vanished country that may or may not have existed, and the very real, conflicted nation that has sprung from it. THE BOOK OF BUNK is the latest unclassifiable explosion of storytelling from Glen Hirshberg, the Shirley Jackson and International Horror Guild Award winning author of AMERICAN MORONS, THE TWO SAMS, and THE SNOWMAN'S CHILDREN.

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From the Back Cover:

From Glen Hirshberg, the Shirley Jackson and International Horror Guild Award winning author of American Morons, The Two Sams, and The Snowman’s Children....Paul Dent, penniless and recently orphaned, hops a train in deepest Dust Bowl Oklahoma in the Spring of 1936, and winds up attached to the Federal Writers’ Project, one of the least understood, shortest-lived, and most impossibly ambitious government undertakings in the history of the country. He is assigned to capture the essence of the mountain towns of eastern North Carolina for a series of travel books no one believes will ever be published. There, among writers and cheats, arsonists and Reconstructionists, blind deaf children and disease-ridden Senators, Paul will meet the love of his life and her lover, witness the awakening of one great novelist and the possible resurrection of another, discover more than one America that could have been, and confront the truth about his relationship with his unpredictable, brilliant, and Machiavellian older brother. There are echoes here of Laurel and Hardy, Bonnie and Clyde, Powell and Loy, Cane and Abel. It’s a book of bunk, in other words. A collection of lies. A creation myth about a vanished country that may or may not have existed, and the very real, conflicted nation that has sprung from it.

From the Inside Flap:

“In The Book of Bunk, Glen Hirshberg takes us on a journey through Depression-era, small-town America that is, in turns, whimsical and tragic, romantic and true. Hirshberg has an eye for the details of the 1930s that will put readers in mind of Sara Gruen’s Water for Elephants, while the riveting sibling rivalry that plays out between the brothers Dent is nothing short of biblical. Bunk County is a place where many of us already live, if only we could admit it.” — Sharon Pomerantz, author of Rich Boy.“The Book of Bunk is anything but, by turns powerful, sad, ecstatic, and, above all, a clear sign that the uniquely American novel is alive and well. I loved it.” — Jeff Vandermeer, author of Finch “Glen Hirshberg’s The Book of Bunk is a miracle of narrative diversity and drive: Stories begetting stories begetting other stories yet that, after several hundred pages, confabulate a lyrical history. It’s as if Woody Guthrie and Gabriel Garcia Marquez had co-authored a 90000-word folk song about an obscure WPA project.” – Lucius Shepard, author of Softspoken and Dagger Key.

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Glen Hirshberg
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