Gregory Ariail • Book Signing & Talk
Join us Tuesday, Oct. 18 from 5:30 - 7:00 PM, as we welcome Gregory Ariail to Ernest & Hadley Booksellers, celebrating his debut novel, Gospel of Rot.
At the age of seventy-one, the recluse Amelia finally leaves her home in the North Carolina mountains to find the world grown strange and almost deserted. In her quest to unravel the mysteries of this apocalyptic landscape, she encounters a neighbor turned into an apple tree, children trapped in mica, and her doppelgänger. Between these events, she reflects on the recent death of her immigrant father and the disastrous love affair with a woman that sent her into seclusion for half a century. Eventually, Amelia meets up with the time-stranded and dying Sir Walter Scott, who becomes an unwilling companion. Together they navigate the dystopic local town and the living, breathing shadow of a mountain, searching for answers. At the novel's end, Amelia grows to understand the origin of these mysteries when she meets a famous mother, who is nothing like the Gospels imagined her. THE GOSPEL OF ROT is a creative intervention into the Appalachian imaginary, steeped in the Southern gothic. It explores lesser-known, idiosyncratic, and historically taboo subjects: Biblical apocrypha, heterodoxy, mysticism, queerness, Cherokee lore, and the weird and the fantastic. It strives to upend and complicate any static conception of the Appalachian experience.
Gregory Ariail, a native of Buford, Georgia, earned graduate degrees from Oxford University, the University of Michigan, and the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, where he currently teaches. In 2019 he thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail. THE GOSPEL OF ROT is his first book.