Please join us for a presentation and signing with writer Tim Parrish (RED STICK MEN) celebrating the launch his two new books, FEAR AND WHAT FOLLOWS: The Violent Education of a Christian Racist, a memoir, and THE JUMPER, winner of Texas Review Press's George Garrett Prize for Fiction. Both books are being released within a few weeks of each other by separate publishers -- so there will be much to celebrate with this homecoming of an accomplished native Louisiana writer.
"Parrish evokes an era of tremendous social upheaval while investigating his own inner tumult. Due to Parrish's considerable talent, this is a beautiful, difficult book that resists easy categorization. To my knowledge, there is no book that competes with it."--
Audrey Petty, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
FEAR AND WHAT FOLLOWS is a riveting, unflinching account of the author's spiral into racist violence during the latter years of desegregation in 1960s and 1970s Baton Rouge. About the memoir, author and editor Michael Griffith writes, "This might be a controversial book, in the best way--controversial because it speaks to real and intractable problems and speaks to them with rare bluntness."
The narrative of Parrish's descent into fear and irrational behavior begins with bigotry and apocalyptic thinking in his Southern Baptist church. Living a life upon this volatile foundation of prejudice and apprehension, Parrish feels destabilized by his brother going to Vietnam, his own puberty and restlessness, serious family illness, and economic uncertainty. Then a near-fatal street fight and subsequent stalking by an older sociopath fracture what security is left, leaving him terrified and seemingly helpless.
Parrish comes to believe that he can only be safe by allying himself with brute force. This brute influence is a vicious, charismatic racist. Under this bigot's terrible sway Parrish, turns to violence in the street and at school. He is even conflicted about whether he will help commit murder in order to avenge a friend. At seventeen he must reckon with all of this as his parents and neighbors grow increasingly afraid that they are "losing" their neighborhood to African Americans.
Fear and What Follows is an unparalleled story of the complex roots of southern, urban, working-class racism and white flight, as well as a story of family, love, and the possibility of redemption.
THE JUMPER is an old-fashioned, modern novel both dark and funny. Its central character, Jimmy Strawhorn, grows up on a ranch in West Texas thinking he’s an orphan but is summoned to Baton Rouge, where he discovers his past is stranger than he can imagine.
Jimmy tries to navigate his urge to jump from high places, his fear of falling in love, and a complex family history full of deceit and racial ambiguity. At the same time, two other eccentric main characters, named Sandra and J. T., deal with dangerous pasts and presents of their own as Jimmy’s arrival alters their lives.
Tim Parrish, a native of Baton Rouge, lives in New Haven, Connecticut, where he teaches fiction writing in the MFA and undergraduate programs at Southern Connecticut State University. He is the author of the highly acclaimed Red Stick Men and his work has also been published in over thirty literary reviews.
Fear and What Follows is a riveting, unflinching account of the author's spiral into racist violence during the latter years of desegregation in 1960s and 1970s Baton Rouge.
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The Jumper is an old-fashioned, modern novel both dark and funny. Its central character, Jimmy Strawhorn, grows up on a ranch in West Texas thinking he’s an orphan but is summoned to Baton Rouge, where he discovers his past is stranger than he can imagine.