This will appear in two parts, on the back of the book and then the inside flap, amid quotes about this book and/or my work in general–for which I’m forever grateful–from Lucius Shepard, Peter Straub, Sharon Pomerantz, Aimee Bender, Jeff Vandermeer, and others.
The Copy (back of book):
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.
The Book of Bunk: 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.
Inside Flap Copy:
Exactly what sort of bunk is this?
It’s an old-school adventure tale, for starters, complete with multiple romances, three separate fires, a Scott who isn’t quite Fitzgerald, railroad tramps, orphans, a haunted forest, Communists, a (possibly) imaginary country of shadows, and at least one murder. It’s told by a narrator who thinks he’s an impostor (but isn’t) to the brother he believes is also an impostor (and might or might not be). It’s a fairy tale with no magic. And a page-turning thriller about sitting around telling stories. It’s a tale our narrator doesn’t want to write about the creation of the very real series of books no one wanted to write that just may have created the myth of modern America.