Author of “Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All” and “Local Souls” describes the joys of living next to a cemetery for CBS Sunday Morning.
Podcast of Allan Gurganus reading at UCLA Hammer Library on October 10, 2013
Beauty Is Its Own Excuse: The novelist Allan Gurganus discovered the secret to happiness: collecting.
Noah Charney interviews Allan Gurganus for The Daily Beast
It’s been 12 years since Gurganus last published a full-length work — but if there remains any doubt of his literary greatness, his fifth book, “Local Souls,” should put it to rest forever.
Dear Friend and Reader,
Thanks for visiting my site at such a joyful time. “Local Souls”, a new work set in mythological Falls, NC, is finally emerging. The gestation has been a long one but I hope its Champagne carbonation holds. The new book mixes comedy and disaster in a jagged ratio that’s increasingly familiar to us all. Since “Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All” I have tried to write the funniest books possible about the worst things that can happen to people.
I rise daily at six AM. After protein, a serious hike and some rocket-fuel coffee, I settle here at the prow of my study. It overlooks an eighteenth-century cemetery. Marble lambs and crosses are my neighbors. Here I re-attempt injecting life into the twenty-six letters of our holy English alphabet. Without my writing daily, I’d go bonkers. But publishing? That’s strictly secondary. Even so, after more than ten years, I looked around and understood I’d reached another harvest time. “Local Souls” will be followed by a collection of twenty new stories then another big mother of a novel, “The Erotic History of a Southern Baptist Church.”
Some people publish a book a year. I consider that about as unseemly as having a baby every ten months. —Is it possible? Yes. —Is it healthful for the offspring, parent and reader? I think not.
I have an enthusiastic new publisher. Liveright-Norton’s Bob Weil is the editor I’ve waited for. With publication in September, I’ll leave my desk to introduce “Local Souls”. Since I’m bound into every American time-zone, I am likely headed your way. I will perform from the book, answer nearly any question, and sign copies. Thanks for continuing to read me alive. I think I am finally maturing as a writer—after a gangly and very long adolescence. Welcome to my pages and to “Local Souls.”