This darkly humorous fourth novel by Johnny Payne takes us from the blues clubs and boxing rings of Chicago to the world of Kentucky harness racing and the hedonism of South Beach. Its characters–among them the black elites of Chicago and the white working stiffs of Hooftown–live by their wits, able to outfox everyone but themselves, and all the time borne up by big hopes and big hearts.
Set in a decidedly postmodern subdivision in Appalachia, Kentuckiana focuses on the lives of the Miles family, an imaginary clan invented by a real-estate developer who is authoring a report on the neighborhoods he has created.
For readers tired of everything postmodern, this collection of folk tales reminds us of the primal power fables and oral tradition hold over the imagination. In these thirty-one stories–told by Quechua speakers in highland Peru–we encounter the voice of an indigenous people on the cusp of modernity. These stories overcome stereotypes of what it means to be traditional. Yet they also entertain, instruct, and reassure us that verities exist.
Voice and style are tangible as air, and just as real. Readers hear “voice” in the overall sound of your story and in the thoughts and words of your characters. They sense “style” in the way you pull these currents together, creating the magnetism that unifies all the other elements of your fiction. Your voice, your style will make readers remember you and seek out your work.
Contrary to popular belief, you can learn the techniques behind voice and style. You can give your characters unique voices and develop a writing style all your own.
You’ll learn through practical, instructive narrative; through examples as entertaining as they are informative; and through challenging exercises.
In this study of experimental fiction from both Americas, Johnny Payne offers new readings that detail the specific, historical relation between experimental fiction and various authors’ careful, deliberate deformations and reformations of the political rhetoric of the modern state.