From acclaimed fiction writer Kyle Minor emerges a collection of
essays all about disappearing.
Considering a wide scope of cultural, historical, spiritual, and philosophical figures and ideas, Minor assembles a collection of essays centered on the concept of disappearance. Considering subjects like ghosts (think Shakespeare and The Sixth Sense), lost temples, professional erasure and strategic exile, these essays dig deep into the cultural and historical archives of our civilization. Minor’s keen wit and perception ensure one thing: readers will never forget this book.
Past Praise for Kyle Minor:
“Kyle Minor wants you to know that Praying Drunk is not actually, or only, a collection. In the epigraph, he warns: “These stories are meant to be read in order. This is a book, not just a collection. DON’T SKIP AROUND.’ Minor is right to insist. The stories may span decades as they move from Kentucky to Haiti and points between, but they work in concert to slowly reveal the landscape of an emotionally desolate quasi-America sinking under the weight of its own faith. . . . Minor writes beautifully about these ruined lives.”
—The New York Times Book Review
“An award-winning short fiction author offers twelve stories so ripe with realism as to suggest a roman à clef. . . . This brilliant collection unfolds around a fractured narrative of faith and friends and family, loved and lost.”
—Kirkus Reviews, starred review
“To read Praying Drunk is to open yourself up to the type of rumination that some might be afraid of: namely, how can anyone have faith when humans do so much to distort godliness?. . . . The collection acts as a crisis of faith in a part of America that is steeped in faith. How does it feel for a former preacher to wander a landscape of the devout? Melancholy, to be sure. The beauty of Praying Drunk, though, is that it transcends suffering to evoke the sublime.”
—The Los Angeles Times
“The collection’s masterpiece, the novella ‘In a Distant Country,’ works in epistolary style through a wide array of correspondents. All are connected somehow to a troubled Baptist mission in Haiti, and their community portrait, thanks to Minor’s ventriloquism, achieves tragic stature. . . . [a] grim yet terrific collection.”
—The Boston Globe
“Praying Drunk is ostensibly a collection of stories—but a disclaimer on the first page warns against reading out of order, or sampling your way through. That’s because nothing here is contained, the way a hit single on a record stands alone—characters recur, themes and forms are deepened and visited again, moments glimpsed earlier come back with haunting force. These stories refuse to stay inside themselves.”
“Fittingly, some of the most marvelous moments in this collection are shaped more like sharp memories than full-on stories, like ‘First, The Teeth,’ in which the narrator visits his dying grandfather in the hospital and struggles to paste in his false teeth. . . . The lesson is clear: the habits the mind takes up long outlive memories of the experiences that built those habits in the first place. Better pray.”
—The Daily Beast
“[T]his is not just a collection of stories. It is a performance — a reckoning, really — taking the facts of a life through the permutations of narrative in one form and then another until they make a sort of sense or at least a good story. “
—The Minneapolis Star-Tribune
“Before the clock strikes midnight to close the book on 2013, we’re going to make the prediction that 2014 will be the year when literary folk won’t be able to stop talking about Kyle Minor’s masterfully written collection of stories.”
"Praying Drunk gets the whole thing down: the cosmic muck and the local glory, the big questions and the tiny lives, the bullies and the saviors, the screaming at the sky and the lights by the side of the road late at night on a long drive. I finished this book with my heart pounding and grateful, my coffee cold and my smile wide and crying like a baby."
—Daniel Handler, author of Bottle Grove