Suspecting that something is amiss with their father’s burial, teenager Kenneth Tyler and his sister Corrie venture to his gravesite and make a horrific discovery: their father, a whiskey bootlegger, was not actually buried in the casket they bought for him. Worse, they learn that the undertaker, Fenton Breece, has been grotesquely manipulating the dead.
Armed with incriminating photographs, Tyler becomes obsessed with bringing the perverse undertaker to justice. But first he must outrun Granville Sutter, a local strongman and convicted murderer hired by Fenton to destroy the evidence. What follows is an adventure through the Harrikin, an eerie backwoods filled with tangled roads, rusted machinery, and eccentric squattersold men, witches, and families among themwho both shield and imperil Tyler as he runs for safety.
With his poetic, haunting prose, William Gay rewrites the rules of the gothic fairytale while exploring the classic Southern themes of good and evil.
Born in Tennessee in 1941,William Gaywas a construction worker who didn’t begin publishing until well into his fifties. His works include,The Long Home, Provinces of Night, I Hate to See That Evening Sun Go Down, Wittgenstein’s Lolita, andTwilight. His work has been adapted for the screen twice,That Evening Sun(2009) andBloodworth(2010). Most recently, his debut novel has been optioned for film. He died in 2012.