Time Done Been Won't Be No More: Collected Prose by William Gay is a collection of short stories, essays, memoirs and an interview. William Gay is well known for his fiction but he is also widely published with his essays, mostly dealing with music, and his memoirs. This is the first collection that includes his nonfiction prose. The elegant use of language that his readers have come to expect is as evident in his collected prose as it is in his novels.
It s 1952, and E.F. Bloodworth is finally coming home to Ackerman s Field, Tennessee. Itinerant banjo picker and volatile vagrant, he s been gone ever since he gunned down a deputy thirty years before. Two of his sons won t be home to greet him: Warren lives a life of alcoholic philandering down in Alabama, and Boyd has gone to Detroit in vengeful pursuit of his wife and the peddler she ran off with. His third son, Brady, is still home, but he s an addled soothsayer given to voodoo and bent on doing whatever it takes to keep E.F. from seeing the wife he abandoned. Only Fleming, E.F. s grandson, is pleased with the old man s homecoming, but Fleming s life is soon to careen down an unpredictable path hewn by the beautiful Raven Lee Halfacre.
In the great Southern tradition of Faulkner, Styron, and Cormac McCarthy, William Gay wields a prose as evocative and lush as the haunted and humid world it depicts. Provinces of Night is a tale redolent of violence and redemption a whiskey-scented, knife-scarred novel whose indelible finale is not an ending nearly so much as it is an apotheosis.
William Gay established himself as "the big new name to include in the storied annals of Southern Lit" () with his debut novel, , and his highly acclaimed follow-up, . Like Faulkner's Mississippi and Cormac McCarthy's American West, Gay's Tennessee is redolent of broken souls. Mining that same fertile soil, his debut collection, , brings together thirteen stories charting the pathos of interior lives. Among the colorful people readers meet are: old man Meecham, who escapes from his nursing home only to find his son has rented their homestead to "white trash"; Quincy Nell Qualls, who not only falls in love with the town lothario but, pregnant, faces an inescapable end when he abandons her; Finis and Doneita Beasley, whose forty-year marriage is broken up by a dead dog; and Bobby Pettijohn — awakened in the night by a search party after a body is discovered in his back woods.
William Gay expertly sets these conflicted characters against lush backcountry scenery and defies our moral logic as we grow to love them for the weight of their human errors.
In a literary voice that is both original and powerfully unsettling, William Gay tells the story of Nathan Winer, a young and headstrong Tennessee carpenter who lost his father years ago to a human evil that is greater and closer at hand than any the boy can imagine — until he learns of it first-hand. Gay's remarkable debut novel, The Long Home, is also the story of Amber Rose, a beautiful young woman forced to live beneath that evil who recognizes even as a child that Nathan is her first and last chance at escape. And it is the story of William Tell Oliver, a solitary old man who watches the growing evil from the dark woods and adds to his own weathered guilt by failing to do anything about it. Set in rural Tennessee in the 1940s, The Long Home will bring to mind once again the greatest Southern novelists and will haunt the reader with its sense of solitude, longing, and the deliverance that is always just out of reach.
David Binder is a young, successful writer living in Chicago and suffering from writer’s block. He stares at the blank page, and the blank page stares back — until inspiration strikes in the form of a ghost story that captivated him as a child.
With his pregnant wife and young daughter in tow, he sets out to explore the myth of Virginia Beale, Faery Queen of the Haunted Dell. But as his investigation takes him deeper and deeper into the legacy of blood and violence that casts its shadow over the old Beale farm, Binder finds himself obsessed with a force that’s as wicked as it is seductive.
A stirring literary rendition of Tennessee’s famed Curse of the Bell Witch, skillfully toes the line between Southern Gothic and horror, and further cements William Gay’s legacy as not only one of the South’s finest writers, but among the best that American literature has to offer.