Blasphemy and Other Ancestors

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Blasphemy and Other Ancestors is comprised of four novellas, in which authors Padgett Powell, Darius James, Lee Henderson, and Jean Marc Ah-Sen explore the tag end of existence and the abasements that memory holds in store for characters living "outside of their time."

In Blasphemy and Other Ancestors, a Southern man of letters tries to instruct his assistant on the matters of the heart, a self-centered telephile recounts how his aunt taught him about the world beyond his T.V. set, an avant-garde filmmaker is haunted by a Nazi persecutor at the 1974 Cannes Film Festival, and a sundowner discovers that a writer recording the events of his life holds the secret to his ability to remember his past lives.

Interview with the authors on Open Book –

"Four excursions to the outer limits of perception." - Michael LaPointe, author of The Creep.

"Four magicians of the language take up the challenge, here, posed by the writer Donald Barthelme: 'Endings are elusive, middles are nowhere to be found, but worst of all is to begin, to begin, to begin.' If, in Powell's words, the 'deeply troubled New Book' has difficulty finding its way, if it seems, as Henderson would have it, a 'last cry' or, as Ah-Sen slyly suggests, a 'gibe' at the reader's expense, it ends as it begins—with dazzlement and the exuberance of invention, joy in possibility, and, as James demonstrates, speaking for the group, genuine 'heart-felt counsel.' Blasphemy is the True Word. Heed it." –Tracy Daugherty, author of American Originals