Moon Lake Community Library is pleased to host Mike Burrell for an Author Talk on Monday, September 24, at 6:30 p.m. In his talk, entitled, “Resurrecting Elvis”, Mike will read a selection from his newly-released book, The Land of Grace, to acquaint readers with the book’s narrative voice. After a short synopsis, he’ll tell the eerie true story that inspired the book and talk about how he rescued the story from the graveyard of failed novels.
What’s the story about? The book’s publisher, University of West Alabama, calls it “a wild roller coaster ride through the land of an insane Elvis cult.
“When a beautiful young woman takes Elvis impersonator Doyle Brisendine to a replica of Graceland, he first thinks he’s landed in some kind of amusement park staffed with actors playing characters from Elvis’ life, including some of Elvis’s relatives, the Memphis Mafia, and an impersonator who looks like Elvis in his last days. But Doyle quickly learns that he’s in the midst of a zealous cult built around the worship of the King, led by a ruthless high priestess called Mama. Since childhood, Doyle has secretly dreamed of being Elvis. Soon he’ll have to decide if he’s willing to pay a very high price to become the King of Rock and Roll.”
Pinckney Benedict, author of Miracle Boy, Town Smokes, and Dogs of God, a New York Times Notable Book, calls The Land of Grace “a terrific comic novel, a kind of Confederacy of Dunces for the Elvis crowd. Beneath the pompadour and the ashy jumpsuits and the great good humor of its prose, there’s remarkably serious commentary here.” Naeem Murr, author of A Perfect Man and winner of The Commonwealth Writers’ Prize says, “It’s almost impossible to put down this...impressive and compulsively readable novel.” Kirkus Reviews says, “Overall, the book artfully asks probing questions about the basic human need for mythology of whatever kind and about the point at which the tensile cord of innocent fascination snaps. An intoxicating tale that’s simultaneously gaudy and exquisite.”
Mike Burrell is a native of DeKalb County, Alabama and a graduate of Valley Head High School, Jacksonville State University, The Birmingham School of Law, and Queens University of Charlotte, where he earned an MFA in creative writing. His short fiction has appeared in: Still: The Journal, Southern Humanities Review, The MacGuffin, and the Livingston Press anthology, Climbing Mt. Cheaha: Emerging Alabama Writers. The Land of Grace is his first published novel.
The author will have books for sale and will be glad to sign them. Light refreshments will be served. There is no charge for this program. Moon Lake Community Library is located at 4607 AL Highway 117 in Mentone. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.