As a Fountain Staff Pick, Genevieve Hudson's Boys of Alabama is one that we are excited to share!
"A gripping, uncanny, and queer exploration of being a boy in America, told with detail that dazzles and disturbs." ―Michelle Tea, author of Against Memoir
About the author:
Genevieve Hudson is the author of the novel Boys of Alabama: a novel (2020), which O, the Oprah Magazine, Ms Magazine and Lit Hub selected as a recommended book to read in 2020. Their other books include the critical memoir A Little in Love with Everyone (2018), and Pretend We Live Here: Stories ( 2018), which was a LAMBDA Literary Award finalist and named a Best Book of 2018 by Entropy.
They hold an MFA in fiction from Portland State University. Their writing has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, selected as The Best Queer Internet Writing by them, and appears in McSweeney's, Catapult, TinHouse.com, No Tokens, Joyland, Bitch, The Rumpus, and other places. They have received fellowships from the Fulbright Program, The MacDowell Colony, Caldera Arts, and The Vermont Studio Center.
They are a Visiting Fiction Faculty member at Antioch University-Los Angeles's MFA Program, a freelance writer, and also work in advertising . They live in Portland, Oregon.
Follow them on Instagram @gkhudson, on Twitter @genhudson, and on Co-Star @gehudson.
About the book:
In this bewitching debut novel, a sensitive teen, newly arrived in Alabama, falls in love, questions his faith, and navigates a strange power. While his German parents don't know what to make of a South pining for the past, shy Max thrives in the thick heat. Taken in by the football team, he learns how to catch a spiraling ball, how to point a gun, and how to hide his innermost secrets.
Max already expects some of the raucous behavior of his new, American friends―like their insatiable hunger for the fried and cheesy, and their locker room talk about girls. But he doesn't expect the comradery―or how quickly he would be welcomed into their world of basement beer drinking. In his new canvas pants and thickening muscles, Max feels like he's "playing dress-up." That is until he meets Pan, the school "witch," in Physics class: "Pan in his all black. Pan with his goth choker and the gel that made his hair go straight up." Suddenly, Max feels seen, and the pair embarks on a consuming relationship: Max tells Pan about his supernatural powers, and Pan tells Max about the snake poison initiations of the local church. The boys, however, aren't sure whose past is darker, and what is more frightening―their true selves, or staying true in Alabama.
Writing in verdant and visceral prose that builds to a shocking conclusion, Genevieve Hudson "brilliantly reinvents the Southern Gothic, mapping queer love in a land where God, guns, and football are king" (Leni Zumas, author of Red Clocks ). Boys of Alabama becomes a nuanced portrait of masculinity, religion, immigration, and the adolescent pressures that require total conformity.
Smith sought to write a grand novel about a grand city, to show how history's enormity can swallow the second century and spit out the twenty-first, all in a blink. She recreates Rome again and again in vivid detail, charting the illustrious growth of a city whose every stone is a moment in Western history, though, as Satan observes, "This is the city for hustle, for building permanent tokens on human transience, and then building on top of those. No one is remembered except the pulsing city itself, which—sack after sack—refuses to perish."
But it is the small stories that feel most urgent in Smith's pages. In the Distance author Hernán Díaz writes, "In a rare display of lyrical erudition, Katy Simpson Smith's gorgeous novel lets us feel the depth and density of history by showing us how every life is both an echo of the past and a relic of the future." It is a truth as deep and layered as Rome itself.