David Armand The Pugilist's Wife

ISBN 13: 9781933896670

The Pugilist's Wife

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Winner of the 2010 George Garrett Fiction Prize

The Pugilist's Wife
 tells the story of Magdalene Tucker, a jilted woman who takes in a drifter during one of Sun, Louisiana's worst recorded droughts. When the townspeople find out about this, they decide to lead a sort of crusade to Magdalene's farm in order to put an end to Magdalene's and this man's sins, thinking them the sole cause of the town's plight. But no one can predict that this convergence upon Magdalene's land will turn violent, resulting in a brutal and bloody climax, where chance and coincidence take a back seat to love, honor, revenge, and pride.

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From the Author:

Genesis of The Pugilist's Wife

When I was in high school, I had a good friend who lived in Sun, Louisiana, a small village in the uppermost corner of the southeastern "toe" of the state. The village is just south of Bogalusa, and on clear days, you can smell the paper mill that is in Bogalusa all the way from Sun.

I grew up in a village similar to Sun, a place called Folsom, Louisiana, which had one red light and a population of just a few hundred people. I could understand the insularity that these kinds of towns often perpetuate, and how quickly gossip and judgment can spread there.

My friend and his mom lived on a wooded patch of land (much like where I lived) with pines jutting up from the kudzu-covered landscape and standing side by side so that you were in perpetual shade, it seemed. Then there was a small circle of cleared land where their house and car were situated.

One day my friend told me that his mom was worried because an inmate had escaped from the Parish jail in Bogalusa and was presumed to be hiding in the wooded area near Sun and the Bogue Chitto River. My friend's mother was alone out there, and she was terrified that the inmate would appear in her yard or, worse, her house.

Fortunately, her fears didn't materialize and the inmate was captured with little incident. A dozen years later, when I started writing seriously, this image was still with me: a lonely and terrified woman living in virtual isolation in the middle of the woods of Sun, Louisiana, and standing on her front porch at night, looking out past the clearing and into the wall of pines, just waiting for someone or something to appear.

This seemed like a powerful image to me and it started to generate questions. My attempt to answer those questions first came in the form of a short story. Years later, I would expand the story into what would be my first novel, The Pugilist's Wife.

The novel went through many drafts (I have a stack of paper about a foot high in a filing cabinet drawer in my office) and grew to nearly three hundred pages. I ultimately cut it to where it stands now in its present form at just under two hundred pages.

I remember sketching out maps of the town in order to get a feel for how it was all laid out: even though Sun was a small place, I still had to know where everything stood since the landscape itself becomes a sort of character in the book. The place where people live has such a profound effect on those people's attitudes and beliefs, so it was incredibly important to me to get it right.

Another thing people always ask or want to know is about the style in which the novel is written: The book is told from multiple points-of-view, there are numerous shifts in time and tense, and there is a very minimal use of punctuation (there are no apostrophes on negative contractions, no quotation marks on dialog, no exclamation points or semi-colons whatsoever). I did all of this for several reasons:

I chose the point-of-view shift to capture that small town gossip and insularity that I mentioned earlier. I also wanted to experiment with how individuals come to know truth, and that it's not always the same truth at which different folks arrive, and how that can lead to false judgment, etc.

Then I minimized the use of standard punctuation in order to offset the long and circuitous sentences that I used. I also think that if you write well enough, you don't need all that extra punctuation there: the language should speak for itself.

So that's a bit about where the novel came from and why it's written the way it is: If you want to know more, pick up a copy of the book and visit Sun, Louisiana, for yourself. It's a unique place, for sure.

From the Back Cover:

"The writing is first-rate [....] This [is a] fine, fine novel. It is clear that an outstanding new voice has entered the Southern literary pantheon." -Ron Rash, New York Times bestselling author of Serena

"The Pugilist's Wife is a powerful Southern brew of violence and religion. The writing is intense, fast-paced, linguistically rich, well-crafted and ultimately riveting." -Tim Gautreaux, author of The Missing

"David Armand's beautiful, unflinching debut novel is a masterfully spun yarn of tragedy, sin, and redemption that builds to a truly unforgettable climax. The Pugilist's Wife is a remarkable achievement, as well as the announcement of a standout new voice." -Skip Horack, author of The Eden Hunter

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Book Description Texas Review Press, United States, 2011. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. The Pugilist s Wife tells the story of Magdalene Tucker, a jilted woman who takes in a drifter during one of Sun, Louisiana s worst recorded droughts. When the townspeople find out about this, they decide to lead a sort of crusade to Magdalene s farm in order to put an end to Magdalene s and this man s sins, thinking them the sole cause of the town s plight. But no one can predict that this convergence upon Magdalene s land will turn violent, resulting in a brutal and bloody climax, where chance and coincidence take a back seat to love, honor, revenge, and pride. Seller Inventory # AAN9781933896670

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