Amos Jasper Wright IV
Amos Jasper Wright IV is from Alabama. He holds master’s degrees in English and urban planning. His first short story collection, Nobody Knows How It Got This Good, was published by Livingston Press and won the Tartt First Fiction Award. His first novel, Petrochemical Nocturne, was published by Livingston Press in the summer of 2023. His author website is AmosJasperWright.com.
11:30 am to 12:30 pm
House Committee Room 4
Fiction: Men Write About Social Issues, Exploration, Growth, and Loss
with Larry Gray, Philip Jason, Toby LeBlanc, Amos Jasper Wright IV, and moderator Chris Tusa
12:45 pm to 1:30 pm
Cavalier House Books Tent
3:15 pm to 4:00 pm
Cavalier House Books Tent
Petrochemical Nocturne: A Novel
"A bristling, lurching, and often insightful investigation of the past." - Kirkus Reviews
"...an extraordinary work of history." - Bill Plott, Alabama Writers' Forum
The Mississippi River. HAZMAT. Boxing. Suicide by cop. New Orleans Saints football. Chemical explosions. The Angola prison rodeo. Chlorine gas ghost ships. Through these symbols and themes we learn about Toussaint, (an African-American named after the Haitian revolutionary leader Toussaint Louverture) and his formative experiences in the Standard Heights neighborhood of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. "Petrochemical Nocturne" is an indictment of what Toussaint describes as "that dystopian haunted carnival cruise line called America," as Standard Heights and the ExxonMobil refinery which has destroyed it supply the energy and refined petroleum products which enable contemporary consumerism.
A discursive exploration of environmental racism, southern history, the prison-industrial complex, police brutality, intergenerational trauma, and climate change, Petrochemical Nocturne is both paean and eulogy for the former enslaved communities of Cancer Alley, the erasure of an entire people from a poisoned landscape.
Nobody Knows How It Got This Good: Short Stories from the Deep South
Winner of the 2018 Tartt First Fiction Award.
"He successfully combines the anarchic nihilism of Hunter S. Thompson with the deeper, exploratory writings of William Faulkner." - Kirkus Reviews
"A finely crafted collection that perfectly evokes a place and culture." - Kirkus Review
Wright's debut collection of short stories was awarded the 2018 Tartt First Fiction Award. Drawing heavily on the author's experiences growing up in Alabama, Nobody Knows How It Got This Good explores themes of racial injustice, class, the Civil Rights Movement, environmental catastrophe, imprisonment, suburbanization, and the perennial themes of love, life and loss. Through sixteen stories sharing common environments and characters--a used car salesman, a cook on death row, a lynching survivor, a U.S. Census enumerator, the author's first short story collection, attempts to come to terms with the modern South. Though set there, these stories aspire with humor and pathos to address national dilemmas.
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