From “one of the most interesting and exciting new novelists in years” (Electric Literature), a story of imagination and survival in the tradition of Carson McCullers and Denis Johnson.
Trouble follows Alvis Maloney wherever he goes. After an adolescent prank leads to a stranger’s death, the teenage Maloney rambles westward. He lands in a small North Carolina town the rest of the world forgot and falls in love—in love with his neighbor Molly, in love with a lonesome quarterback called Miles, in love with a whole community of enduring misfits and losers.
But at the same time, another life takes shape in his seductive, dreamlike visions: a horse named Forever, a princess with hypochondria, and an electric city that’s always just out of reach. As these two promises of home fight for their hold on Maloney, the story careens toward disaster, and in the end Maloney must choose between love and redemption.
From the virtuosic author of Sophia, Michael Bible’s Empire of Light is a novel about the conflicting truths of young adulthood, and it blooms with mystical imagination and a soaring, hopeful heart.
About the Author
Michael Bible is originally from North Carolina. He studied under Barry Hannah at Ole Miss and worked with David Milch adapting William Faulkner’s Light in August for HBO. He is the author of Sophia (Melville House), the chapbooks Gorilla Math (Greying Ghost Press) and My Second Best Bear Rug (Paper Hero Press), and the novellas Simple Machines (Publishing Genius) and Cowboy Maloney’s Electric City (Dark Sky Books). His work has appeared in Oxford American, The Paris Review Daily, Al Jazeera America, ESPN: the Magazine, and New York Tyrant.
”Denis Johnson seems to be the abiding spirit of the novel, which achieves the incendiary strangeness of his prose . . . Bible offers us a remarkable vision of adolescence as not just a time of extreme exposure but one of visionary longing.” — THE NEW YORK TIMES