Early praise for English prof's 1st novel calls it ‘a splendid work'With four months still to go before it is released, Austin Peay State University Professor of English Barry Kittermans first novel, The Bakers Boy, is creating a buzz within the literary community.
In her review of the book, APSU alumna and best-selling novelist Paula Wall says, Not since â€˜Lord of the Flies has a book haunted me like this. With his heartbreaking story of the boys of Belize, Kitterman hits the writers sweet spot.
With four months still to go before it is released, Austin Peay State University Professor of English Barry Kitterman's first novel, “The Baker's Boy,” is creating a buzz within the literary community.
In her review of the book, APSU alumna and best-selling novelist Paula Wall says, “Not since ‘Lord of the Flies' has a book haunted me like this. With his heartbreaking story of the boys of Belize, Kitterman hits the writer's sweet spot.”
Kitterman's novel, set in Central America and in middle Tennessee, gives the reader two intertwined stories: In the first, Tanner Johnson, nearing midlife, has left his pregnant wife and taken a job as a baker, working nights, trying to avoid a shadowy presence from his past.
In the second story, Johnson relives his painful experiences as a Peace Corps volunteer in Belize where, nearly 25 years ago, he taught at a boys' reformatory school. Haunted by the past, he struggles to find the courage to accept his role as a husband and prospective father.
Monica Wood, author of “Any Bitter Thing,” says, “In ‘The Baker's Boy,' Barry Kitterman gives us a haunting of the most universal kind: The ghost is a man's mortal past, which tears through the veil of memory to demand a reckoning. Tanner, like all of us, struggles to make a whole person out of his broken parts, and how he succeeds makes for a touching read.”
Kitterman, who has lived and taught in Belize, China, Taiwan, Ohio and Indiana, has been on the faculty of the APSU Department of Languages and Literature since 1995. The fiction editor of Zone 3 Magazine, Kitterman has had stories published in such literary venues as The Long Story, Cutbank, California Quarterly and Carolina Quarterly.
“The Baker's Boy” is scheduled to be released by the publisher in May 2008. For more information, contact Susan Wallace, managing editor of Zone 3, by telephone at (931) 221-7031 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. -- Dennie B. Burke