Village Prodigies (Paperback)
Born and raised in Alabama and now living in New Orleans, Rodney Jones is the author of eleven books of poetry, including Elegy for the Southern Drawl, a long-time favorite poet at Square Books, and now has created a technical tour de force, with characters and voices coming from nine parts of poetry within the concept of a novel over a time span of fifty years. We are thrilled he will be here with this newest and most ambitious book, appearing at the Book Conference and on Thacker Mountain Radio.— From 2017 releases
"A novel in language as dense and lush and beautiful as poetry . . . or] a book of poetry with the vivid characters and the narrative force of a novel? Whatever you care to call it, it's a remarkable achievement." -- Richard Russo, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Empire Falls
Village Prodigies imagines the town of Cold Springs, Alabama, from 1950 to 2015 and unfurls its narrative reach as six boys--prodigies and swains--grow up and leave the familiarity of home and the rural South.
Yet all prodigies, all memories, all stories inevitably loop back. Through a multiplicity of points of view and innovative forms, Rodney Jones plays with the contradictions in our experience of time, creating portals through which we travel between moments and characters, from the interior mind to the most exterior speech, from delusions to rational thought. We experience Alzheimer's and its effect on family, listen to family lore and read family Facebook posts, relive war, and revive half-forgotten folktales and video games. In this deep examination of personal and communal memory, Jones blurs the lines between analog and digital, poetry and prose.