“The Human Face a Furnace Seal’d”: I Review John Darnielle’s New Novel

for AmCon: The new novel from indie music hero John Darnielle is a moving tribute to the power of the imagination. But not in the way you might think.The novel’s setup is fairly simple. Sean, the narrator, suffered severe facial disfigurement from a gunshot wound sometime in his early life—the kind of disfigurement which makes him hard to look at, which makes other people recoil from him. But after decades of learning to accept his situation, he’s patient, quiet, and hopeful. He’s even manag … [Read more...]

From Robert Stone, “Children of Light”

She let her song rise again and spread out her arms. In Louisiana the old black people called that kind of singing a bajo or banjo song, a homesick blues for where you've never been, which for them was Africa but for her was God only knows.Be there, Lu Anne sang. Be there, Sweet Jesus. Be there.She leaned back in the lounger, exhausted, When she turned to the mirror she saw her own secret eyes. No other person except her children and the Long Friends had ever seen them. She had used them … [Read more...]


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