It's last minute, we know, but we are very pleased to announce a SURPRISE READING TONIGHT, JUNE 16, at 6pm at Chop Suey Books (2913 W Cary St, Richmond, VA). Writer James Hannaham is currently on tour in support of his debut novel, God Says No, newly released by the folks at McSweeney's Books. He's passing through Richmond tonight and has graciously agreed to an impromptu reading from his remarkable new book.
So come on out to Chop Suey tonight!
Here is the McSweeney's summary of God Says Now, followed by praise it has received:
Gary Gray marries his first girlfriend, a fellow student from Central Florida Christian College who loves Disney World as much as he does. They are 19 years old, God-fearing, and eager to start a family, but a week before their wedding Gary goes into a rest-stop bathroom and lets something happen. God Says No is his testimony — the story of a young black Christian struggling with desire and belief, with his love for his wife and his appetite for other men, told in a singular, emotional voice. Driven by desperation and religious visions, the path that Gary Gray takes — from revival meetings to "out" life in Atlanta to a pray-away-the-gay ministry in Memphis, Tennessee — gives a riveting picture of how a life like his can be lived, and how it can't.
"A tender, funny tour of a mind struggling to do the right thing. A revelatory and sympathetic guide to a misunderstood world."
- Steve Martin, author of Shopgirl and Born Standing Up
James Hannaham's God Says No introduces a groundbreaking new American voice: a writer of spectacular sentences who has trained his sights on a world that has hardly been touched by literary fiction. Topical and ambitious, disturbing and hilarious, God Says No is everything a person could ask of a first novel -- and twice that much.
- Jennifer Egan, author of Look at Me and The Keep
"This novel is an absolute original. Gary Gray's search for wholeness and acceptance is a heartfelt (and often very funny) plea for all men (and women) to be embraced just as they are. A wonderful debut."
- Martha Southgate, author of Third Girl From The Left
“God Says No is a book that was desperate to be written but well out of reach. And then James Hannaham came along and wrote it, with the kind of care, wit, sympathy and fury that the book deserved. Imagine Candide -- okay, imagine Candide as a black man, a southerner, a Christian fundamentalist, middle-class, obese, married, a father, and utterly, even profoundly gay. If a comedy, in the classical sense, is a story then ends in a marriage, and a tragedy is a story that ends with a death, then what do you call a book that ends with a split and a resurrection? A truly daring first novel, and something to read.”
- Jim Lewis, author of Why the Tree Loves the Ax
We hope to see you there! For more information on the author, visit www.jameshannaham.com.