William Gay

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  • 03 Nov 2015 at 12:55 pm #7854

    wesmorgan
    Participant

    I just picked-up a copy of William Gay’s posthumously published novel Little Sister Death (2015). The Introduction, written by Tom Franklin, contains several anecdotes concerning William. In one of them both Tom and William were attending a writers’ conference in Sewanee, Tennessee, in 1999. They struck up a first-time conversation after a presentation by Knopf editor Gary Fisketjon while standing in line to ask Fisketjon a question. As they inched forward they realized Fisketjon was watching them. Then, “William stuck out his hand and said, ‘I just wanted to meet the man with the balls to edit Cormac McCarthy'” (p. ii).

    Franklin goes on to tell several other anecdotes of Gay’s life and writing career and to retell the story of the relationship between Gay and McCarthy that has been told on this FORUM in years past.

    James Franco blurbed Little Sister Death as follows: “The late William Gay is pure Tennessee Gothic. He is what Cormac McCarthy would have become if he had stayed in Tennessee writing about murder, incest, necrophilia, and backwoods love. It’s hard to find writing this dark that feels this authentic.”

    Now I can finally get to reading the novel.


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    03 Nov 2015 at 4:46 pm #7855

    Candy Minx
    Member

    That’s some juicy stuff there, Wes. I think I’ll track down a copy too.


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    05 Nov 2015 at 2:16 am #7856

    adrianb
    Member

    I also picked myself up a copy of Little Sister Death. Haven’t read it yet. I just finished reading Gay’s novel Twilight (I think the Franco quote is actually referring to Twilight, rather than Little Sister Death, but publishers always do that sort of thing). Gay was a really talented writer, but his style, at least in Twilight, is heavily a pastiche of McCarthy’s style (of course, this is not a bad thing; in fact, that’s one of the reasons I bought it). The second part of the novel even begins with a quote from Suttree. In Gay’s collection of short stories, I Hate To See that Evening Sun Go Down, his own style comes through a bit more and pushes McCarthy to the background.


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