A brilliant work with the scent of Gulf salt air in its pages—innovative, imaginative, eclectic, poetic, unpredictable, sometimes reminiscent of Faulkner, sometimes of Eudora Welty and Flannery O’Connor, Richard Ford, James Lee Burke, but always in Guillory’s freshly unique voice. This may be the new face of fiction.
“Dating from World War I to his painful demise in the late 1940s, this book chronicles the life of rural Louisianan Dr. Schilling in elegant, mesmerizing prose. Guillory, who has taught English at several American universities, uses the perspectives of Schilling and his sister, sons, and wife to reveal how and why one family fell apart. Schilling is disturbed by familial hostility, the deaths of his sister and one son, and his memories of Eustache, a lovely young woman with whom he was infatuated. To save her from a prison sentence for murdering her abusive husband, Schilling testifies that she is insane. Consequently, Eustache is committed to a mental hospital, but later Schilling and the reader learn that she is neither guilty nor insane. Ironically, the old doctor who had given his heart to his patients finds himself dying an agonizing death of heart disease, entirely dependent on morphine and his resentful wife to survive. More than just another good read, this poignant, poetic novel is recommended for all libraries.” -Jim Dwyer, The Library Journal
Terrell Guillory was born and reared beside the 98th meridian running through Texas, the dividing line between the South and the West, according to rainfall, farming to the east, ranching to the west two cultures. He was exposed to other cultures as well: The Anglo-Celt and the German, the Mexican-American and the African-American of Central Texas. His parents’ roots were in Louisiana, his mother from Winn Parish, his father from Evangeline, marinating him in two other cultures Anglo-Saxon southern and Cajun French. He was educated at the University of Texas in Austin and at the University of Washington, and he taught English at the universities of Washington, Idaho, and Purdue. For many years he divided his time between the Pacific Northwest and the Gulf Southwest. Most of his writings came from notes taken from glimpses through the window of a train which arrives too soon. Sadly, Terrell Guillory passed away in 2008.