Lit: Books by the Bank

Books by the Banks descends on the Duke Energy Center for a day-long event full of literary fun. There will be regional and local authors, book signings, author panels, family activities and more. Donald Ray Pollock, author of Knockemstiff, will be one o

Books by the Banks descends on the Duke Energy Center for a day-long event full of literary fun. There will be regional and local authors, book signings, author panels, family activities and more. Donald Ray Pollock, author of Knockemstiff, will be one of the featured participants of the festival.

Knockemstiff, Ohio, is a place where bony dudes, emboldened after swigging whiskey from car ashtrays, flatten men three times their size in drive-in bathrooms. It’s place where acne-riddled teenagers flee abusive fathers in favor of overweight, speed-popping homosexual truck drivers. It’s a place where hapless store clerks eat bologna and drink Pabst Blue Ribbon while dreaming of girls well beyond their reach.

At least that’s the Knockemstiff we get in Donald Ray Pollock’s debut collection of short stories, aptly titled Knockemstiff, published earlier this year. Praised by everyone from Chuck Palahniuk (“more engaging than any new fiction in years”) to The New York Times (for whom he’s actually written editorials), Pollock’s stories are propelled by a visceral, finely tuned prose style and a sensitive, evocative narrative thrust. His gritty stories grab one from the get-go, drawing in the reader with a deep sense of pathos that, by their often metaphysical finales, evolve into something close to uplifting.

Books by the Banks is free and runs from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Read an interview with Pollock here.

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