Donald Ray Pollock

This author appeared at the 2011 festival. Please view the list of authors appearing at this year's festival or see our suggestions for similar authors below.

Donald Ray Pollock at the 2011  Texas Book Festival

Donald Ray Pollock’s The Devil All the Time is a hauntingly intense portrait of America and a shattering vision of violence and redemption. Set in rural southern Ohio and West Virginia, it follows a cast of riveting and bizarre characters from the end of WWII to the 1960s. Willard Russell is a tormented veteran of the carnage in the South Pacific who can’t save his beautiful wife, Charlotte, from a slow death by cancer no matter how much sacrificial blood he pours on his “prayer log.” Carl and Sandy Henderson, a husband-and-wife team of serial killers, trawl America’s highways searching for suitable models to photograph and exterminate. The spider-handling preacher Roy, and his crippled virtuoso-guitar-playing sidekick, Theodore, are running from the law. And caught in the middle of all this is Arvin Eugene Russell, Willard and Charlotte’s orphaned son, who grows up to be a good but violent man in his own right. Pollock braids his plot lines into a taut, gothic narrative that will leave readers deeply moved. With his first novel, he proves himself a master storyteller in a gritty and uncompromising American grain. Pollock, winner of the 2009 PEN/Robert Bingham Fellowship, made his literary debut with a critically acclaimed short story collection, Knockemstiff. He worked at the Mead paper mill in Chillicothe, Ohio, from 1973 to 2005. In 2005, he was accepted into the MFA program at Ohio State University. This is his first novel.

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