Michael Parker, I Am the Light of this World

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Acclaimed author Michael Parker tells the searing  and unforgettable story of one decision that irrevocably changes  the course of a young man’s life.

In  the  early  1970s,  in  Stovall,  Texas,  seventeen-year-old  Earl—a  loner,  dreamer,  lover of music and words—meets Tina, the new girl in town. Tina convinces Earl to drive her to see her mother in Austin, where Earl and Tina are quickly separated. Two  days  later,  Earl  is  being  questioned  by  the  police  about  Tina’s  disappearance  and the blood in the trunk of his car. But Earl can’t remember what happened in Austin,  and  with  little  financial  support  from  his  working-class  family,  he  is  sentenced for a crime he did not commit.

Forty  years  later,  Earl  is  released  into  a  world  he  can  barely  navigate.  Settling  in a small town on the Oregon coast, he attempts to establish a sense of freedom from both bars and razor wire and the emotional toll of incarceration. But just as Earl finds the rhythm he’s always sought, his past returns to endanger the new life he’s built.

Steeped in the music and atmosphere of the 1970s, I Am the Light of This World is a gritty, gripping, and gorgeously written story of loss, redemption, and the power of the imagination, perfect for fans of Ron Rash, Rachel Kushner, and Laird Hunt.

The author of seven novels and three collections of stories, Michael Parker has been awarded four career-achievement awards: the Hobson Award for Arts and Letters, the North Carolina Award for Literature, the R. Hunt Parker Award, and the 2020 Thomas Wolfe Prize. His short fiction and nonfiction have appeared in the Washington Post, the New York Times, Oxford American, Runner’s World, Men's Journal, and others. He is a three-time winner of the O. Henry Prize for his short fiction and his work has appeared in dozens of magazines and several anthologies. He taught for twenty-seven years in the MFA Writing Program at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and since 2009 he has been on the faculty of the Warren Wilson Program for Writers. He lives in Austin, Texas.


Event date: 
Saturday, November 12, 2022 - 11:00am to 12:00pm
Event address: 
220 Market Street
Fearrington Village, NC 27312
I Am the Light of This World By Michael Parker Cover Image
ISBN: 9781643751795
Availability: On Our Shelves Now. We will contact you when your order is ready. Closed Mon & Tues.
Published: Algonquin Books - November 15th, 2022

“A GUT PUNCH OF A NOVEL—lyrical, mordantly funny, and wrenching.” —Kelly Link, author of Get in Trouble

The searing and unforgettable story of one decision that irrevocably changes the course of a young man’s life.

In the early 1970s, in Stovall, Texas, seventeen-year-old Earl—a loner, dreamer, lover of music and words