The Book of Bunk by Glen Hirshberg
A Fairy Tale of the Federal Writers' Project

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Paul Dent, penniless and recently orphaned, hops a train in deepest Dust Bowl Oklahoma in the Spring of 1936, and winds up attached to the Federal Writers' Project, one of the least understood, shortest-lived, and most impossibly ambitious government undertakings in the history of the country. He is assigned to capture the essence of the mountain towns of eastern North Carolina for a series of travel books no one believes will ever be published. There, among writers and cheats, arsonists and Reconstructionists, blind and deaf children and disease-ridden Senators, Paul will meet the love of his life and her lover, witness the awakening of one great novelist and the possible resurrection of another, discover more than one America that could have been, and confront the truth about his relationship with his unpredictable, brilliant, and Machiavellian older brother.

There are echoes here of Laurel and Hardy, Bonnie and Clyde, Powell and Loy, Cain and Abel. It's a book of bunk, in other words. A collection of lies. A creation myth about a vanished country that may or may not have existed, and the very real conflicted nation that has sprung from it.

About Glen Hirshberg

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GLEN HIRSHBERG was born in 1966 and attended Columbia University. He received his MFA and MA from the University of Montana. Hirshberg is the author of The Snowman's Children. He lives in Los Angeles.
Published April 1, 2012 by Christopher Roden/Ash-Tree Press. 214 pages
Genres: History, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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In this lyrical meditation on the sustaining power of the imagination, an officer of the WPA's Federal Writers' Project taps Okie hobo Paul Dent to contribute to the guide series documenting the American way of life in each of the 48 states.

Oct 25 2010 | Read Full Review of The Book of Bunk: A Fairy Tal...

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