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The Gospel of Rot: A Novel

By author: Gregory Ariail
Product Code: P646
ISBN: 9780881468489
Publisher: Mercer University Press
Availability: In stock
Price: $20.00

At the age of seventy-one, the recluse Amelia finally leaves her home in the North Carolina mountains to find the world grown strange and almost deserted. In her quest to unravel the mysteries of this apocalyptic landscape, she encounters a neighbor turned into an apple tree, children trapped in mica, and her doppelgänger. Between these events, she reflects on the recent death of her immigrant father and the disastrous love affair with a woman that sent her into seclusion for half a century. Eventually, Amelia meets up with the time-stranded and dying Sir Walter Scott, who becomes an unwilling companion. Together they navigate the dystopic local town and the living, breathing shadow of a mountain, searching for answers. At the novel's end, Amelia grows to understand the origin of these mysteries when she meets a famous mother, who is nothing like the Gospels imagined her. THE GOSPEL OF ROT is a creative intervention into the Appalachian imaginary, steeped in the Southern gothic. It explores lesser-known, idiosyncratic, and historically taboo subjects: Biblical apocrypha, heterodoxy, mysticism, queerness, Cherokee lore, and the weird and the fantastic. It strives to upend and complicate any static conception of the Appalachian experience
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Review by: Sabrina Orah Mark, author of WILD MILK and HAPPILY - May 17, 2022
"I do not know from what seed Gregory Ariail grew his brilliant imagination, but if I could, I would eat from its fruit and then ask for more. Written in a mixture of murmur and prayer, dust and dream, THE GOSPEL OF ROT is an essential field guide for the ghosts of Appalachia."
Review by: Reginald McKnight, author of HE SLEEPS - May 17, 2022
"THE GOSPEL OF ROT is one of those novels that sensible writers wish they had written, or perhaps it's one of those novels the world has been hoping would be written. Maybe it's one of those novels that has existed, somehow, someway, since the beginning of time. What can I tell you? I'm blown to smithereens with joy about this uncommonly rare and gorgeous work of art. When you read it, your heart and head and belly will glow like Chinese lanterns, and you'll be carried into the very air by Gregory Ariail's exquisite prose and his gemlike observations, and these characters, who will likely be with you for the rest of your life."
Review by: Kellie Wells, author of GOD, THE MOON, AND OTHER MEGAFAUNA - May 17, 2022
"THE GOSPEL OF ROT’s delight in all manner of fruitfully phantasmagorical decay does indeed verge on the evangelical. It's a heady, keen-eyed evangelism whose fertile language you will be gratefully buttonholed by as it tells you a story, a story of the sometimes immobilizing magic of place, of love, of family, and isolation, and the breaking of that spell that comes only from a blunt-force confrontation with grief. This is a story of revelatory aftermath and the mystery of history, a story as only Gregory Ariail can tell it, a story that will forever change the way you dream."

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