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A Southern Gothic Twist on “Great Expectations” from Joseph Allen Boone

April 13, 2022 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

A Southern Gothic Twist on “Great Expectations” from Author Joseph Allen Boone

Hub City is delighted to welcome author Joseph Allen Boone to the Bookshop for an event celebrating the release of his new novel, Furnace Creek. An endowed professor of English and gender studies at the University of Southern California, Boone grew up in North Carolina and has drawn upon his experience to produce a novel that explores the South’s unique sense of place. Taking its inspiration from Charles Dickens’s classic Great Expectations, the novel asks what Pip might have been like had he grown up in the American South of the 1960s and 1970s and faced the explosive social issues—racial injustice, a war abroad, women’s and gay rights, class struggle—that galvanized the world in those decades.

Deftly combining elements of coming-of-age story, novel of erotic discovery, Southern Gothic fiction, and detection-mystery thriller, Furnace Creek offers a contemporary meditation on the perils of desire, ambition, love, loss, and family.

Come out to the shop to encounter the novel that Pulitzer Prize winner Michael Cunningham calls “a genuine accomplishment.” This event is free and open to all, but space is limited so save your seat and your copy of the book with a ticket!

About the Book

Taking its inspiration from Great Expectations, Furnace Creek teases us with the question of what Pip might have been like had he grown up in the American South of the 1960s and 1970s and faced the explosive social issues–racial injustice, a war abroad, women’s and gay rights, class struggle–that galvanized the world in those decades.

A guilty encounter with an escaped felon, a summer spent working for an eccentric man with a mysterious past, conflicted erotic feelings for his employer’s niece and nephew–these events set the stage for a journey of sexual and moral discovery that takes Newt Seward to New England, Rome, and Paris–all before returning home to confront his life’s many expectations and disappointments.

Deftly combining elements of coming-of-age story, novel of erotic discovery, Southern Gothic fiction, and detection-mystery thriller, Furnace Creek leaps the frame of Dickens’ masterpiece to provide a contemporary meditation on the perils of desire, ambition, love, loss, and family.

Praise for Furnace Creek

Joe Boone’s Furnace Creek is a funny, moving, and true rendition of everybody’s story: surviving our childhoods, which can be uniquely challenging if you’re Southern, and queer. Boone is a natural novelist, and Furnace Creek is a genuine accomplishment. — Michael Cunningham, Pulitzer Prize for The Hours

Stretching from the American South to the Ivy League and the dream of Rome and Paris, Furnace Creek is a sweeping, Gothic tale of sex, race, and a young man’s education. I was totally entertained and, most of all, seduced. –Viet Nguyen, Pulitzer Prize for The Sympathizer

About the Author

Joseph Allen Boone is the author of three works of non-fiction, a musical adaptation of Herman Melville’s The Confidence-Man, and a forthcoming short story collection. A finalist in four international competitions, Furnace Creek is his debut novel. The author is the recipient of Guggenheim, Rockefeller, ACLS, and numerous other fellowships. An endowed professor at the University of Southern California, the author resides in Los Angeles.

Venue

Hub City Writers Project
186 W Main St
Spartanburg, SC 29306 United States
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