Tuesday, April 19, 2022

|Podcast| Wingwalkers - Taylor Brown

Photo Credit: Benjamin Galland

TAYLOR BROWN grew up on the Georgia coast. His work has appeared in a wide range of publications, including The New York Times, The Rumpus, Garden & Gun, Chautauqua, The North Carolina Literary Review, and many others. He is the recipient of a Montana Prize in Fiction, a three-time finalist for the Southern Book Prize, and was named the 2021 Georgia Author of the Year. He’s also been a finalist for the Press 53 Open Awards, Machigonne Fiction Contest, Wabash Prize in Fiction, Rick DeMarinis Short Story Contest, Dahany Fiction Prize, and Doris Betts Fiction Prize. 

 He is the author of a short story collection, In the Season of Blood and Gold (Press 53, 2014), as well as five novels: Fallen Land (St. Martin’s Press, 2016), The River of Kings (St. Martin’s Press, 2017), Gods of Howl Mountain (St. Martin’s Press, 2018), Pride of Eden (St. Martin’s Press, 2020), and Wingwalkers (St. Martin’s Press, 2022). Taylor, an Eagle Scout, graduated from the University of Georgia in 2005. He’s settled in Savannah, Georgia, after long stints in Buenos Aires, San Francisco, and the mountains and coasts of North Carolina. He is the editor-in-chief of BikeBound.com, and he likes old motorcycles, thunderstorms, and dogs with beards.

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"Clearly one of the best American writers of his generation." ―Ron Rash

“Taylor Brown writes with rare energy, spinning out history with the force of myth. Wingwalkers thrusts us into the lives of two daredevil aeronauts during the Great Depression, who happen to awaken and inspire William Faulkner. Brown’s vision is as fresh and audacious as his language. Gutsy, original, and powerfully imagined.” ―Paula McLain, author of THE PARIS WIFE and WHEN THE STARS GO DARK

“Brown weaves a rich and poignant tale from a tidbit in Faulkner’s life around an aerial barnstorming couple of the 1930s. Fierce and beautiful” ―Kim Michele Richardson, author of THE BOOK WOMAN OF TROUBLESOME CREEK

“Like flight itself, Wingwalkers defies gravity, lifting us into the ether with its beautiful and poetic grace. Fans of Faulkner will not be disappointed. Be transported to the days of early aviation, walk in the shoes of those who dared to push the boundaries of man. Taylor Brown’s characters live the kind of bold, fearless lives we all envy. This book is not to be missed!” ―Susan Crandall, author of THE FLYING CIRCUS

"Brown crafts a heart-pounding plot, and his gorgeous descriptions of Southern terrain from the air resonate just as much. The result is both elegant and thrilling." ―PUBLISHERS WEEKLY

A former WWI ace pilot and his wingwalker wife barnstorm across Depression-era America, performing acts of aerial daring.

“They were over Georgia somewhere, another nameless hamlet whose dusty streets lay flocked and trembling with the pink handbills they’d rained from the sky that morning, the ones that announced the coming of DELLA THE DARING DEVILETTE, who would DEFY THE HEAVENS, shining like a DAYTIME STAR, a WING-WALKING WONDER borne upon the wings of CAPTAIN ZENO MARIGOLD, a DOUBLE ACE of the GREAT WAR, who had ELEVEN AERIAL VICTORIES over the TRENCHES OF FRANCE.”

Wingwalkers is one-part epic adventure, one-part love story, and, as is the signature for critically-acclaimed author Taylor Brown, one large part American history. The novel braids the adventures of Della and Zeno Marigold, a vagabond couple that funds their journey to the west coast in the middle of the Great Depression by performing death-defying aerial stunts from town to town, together with the life of the author (and thwarted fighter pilot) William Faulkner, whom the couple ultimately inspires during a dramatic air show—with unexpected consequences for all.

Brown has taken a tantalizing tidbit from Faulkner’s real life—an evening's chance encounter with two daredevils in New Orleans—and set it aloft in this fabulous novel. With scintillating prose and an action-packed plot, he has captured the true essence of a bygone era and shed a new light on the heart and motivations of one of America's greatest authors.
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