photo courtesy Alf van Beem and Wicki Commons Click here for a distillation of Gardner, Castellani, Wood, and Dufresne.
Scott will read from a rising tide of people swept away.
He’ll talk about place and how it forms the possibilities for scene, about a very angry taxidermist Bob Dobble, and about Saturday night at Rip’s Bar and Package Liquor Store. He’ll introduce you to Ilene McKennet and the Devil, and even Soulful the Lutheran Bondsman. By then it will be midnight.
“A Rising Tide is a gritty, smart, deftly plotted novel full of lively and unforgettable characters, and Jones’s Albuquerque is as alive on the page as the Northeastern towns of Russell Banks. Read this book.”
—Tom Barbash, author of Stay Up With Me
Dana Micucci will read from her book The Third Muse and Ed Cardenas from El Legado. This is a free event.
Enchantment Magazine features Scott’s third book in the July 2016 issue
A Rising Tide of People Swept Away
By Scott Archer Jones
2016, 232 pages, $15, Fomite Press
This empathetic novel with the handsome cover is dedicated to the working poor of “mythic Albuquerque” who knock themselves out to stay two hops ahead of ruin. Yet some of them will go hungry to save a warm burrito for a stray kid who is hiding from his drunken father. Richard, the pawnbroker, the first to lure GMR off the street, explains bookkeeping to this quiet but observant kid: “Double entry is one of the mysteries of the universe. It was invented by a wizard named Luca…”
All the characters in this beaten down Bosque neighborhood pop on the page with distinct dialogue and description. “Glistening dark hair hung down around her cheap dime-store reading glasses and outlined her sour mouth.” Across the street Ilene has an ongoing argument with the Devil who offers her, “That intimacy, that oneness with another being, that entanglement of spirit and flesh.” In the face of all this succulent squalor, the city decides to blast through the hood and build a new bridge right where the people are sitting. The pastor will lose his church; Rip will lose his bar. The urchin will be sucked into “the system.” Unless they form a neighborhood association and fight development. It’s Grapes of Wrath meets The Milagro Beanfield War. Ann Hillerman calls A Rising Tide “The best book I’ve read in a long time.”
This is Jones’ third compelling novel. The first was Jupiter and Gilgamesh, A Novel of Sumeria and Texas, about an author caught up in a dialogue with his conscience and a reluctant intervention, and won the FAPA President’s Gold Award. The second, The Big Wheel, was a finalist for the New Mexico/Arizona Book Awards as a drama/action novel and won the FAPA President’s Silver Award. In all three novels, Jones demonstrates a high talent for writing about “people who are not me” in highly polished prose lightly salted by a wry sense of humor and drenched with human failings that will make you weep. Meticulous in his research, as he wades through the ludicrous human condition, Jones nails the settings, the dialect and the vivid characters with a flair for the hardscrabble truth.