By Kyle Minor
Sarabande Books, Paperback, 9781936747634, 196pp.
Publication Date: February 4, 2014
"I finished this book with my heart pounding and grateful, my coffee cold and my smile wide and crying like a baby."--Daniel Handler
The characters in "Praying Drunk" speak in tongues, torture their classmates, fall in love, hunt for immortality, abandon their children, keep machetes beneath passenger seats, and collect porcelain figurines. A man crushes pills on the bathroom counter while his son watches from the hallway; missionaries clumsily navigate an uprising with barbed wire and broken glass; a boy disparages memorized scripture, facedown on the asphalt, as he fails to fend off his bully. From Kentucky to Florida to Haiti, these seemingly disparate lives are woven together within a series of nested repetitions, enacting the struggle to remain physically and spiritually alive throughout the untamable turbulence of their worlds. In a masterful blend of fiction, autobiography, and surrealism, Kyle Minor shows us that the space between fearlessness and terror is often very small. Long before "Praying Drunk" reaches its plaintive, pitch-perfect end, Minor establishes himself again and again as one of the most talented younger writers in America.