West Virginia University Press is publishing a novel on the divide between a preacher son and his rocker father in The Psalms of Israel Jones by Ed Davis.

Lee K. Abbott, author of Dreams of Distant Lives and Strangers in Paradise says “I love this book, not least for the zillion writers and religious thinkers I find in it, among them Dickens, Melville, Jonathan Edwards, Increase Mather, Jimmy Swaggart, and Walker Percy. The plot is straight out of On the Road.”

Clint McCown, author of Haints, War Memorials, and The Member-Guest calls it “A deep, dark look at the sometimes fatal wounds that separate parent from child, husband from wife, and body from soul.”

The Psalms of Israel Jones is the story of a father and son’s journey towards spiritual redemption. This novel tells the tale of a famous father trapped inside the suffocating world of rock and roll, and his son who is stranded within the bounds of conventional religion.

When Reverend Thomas Johnson receives an anonymous phone call, he learns his Dylanesque rock star father is acting deranged on stage, where he’s being worshipped by a cult of young people who slash their faces during performances. In his declining years, Israel Jones has begun to incite his fans to violence. They no longer want to watch the show—they want to be the show.

Eager to escape troubles with his congregation as well as gain an apology from his dad for abandoning his family, Reverend Thom leaves town and joins Israel Jones’ Eternal Tour. This decision propels him to the center of a rock and roll hell, giving him one last chance to reconnect with his father, wife, congregation — and maybe even God.

The Psalms of Israel Jones is the 2010 Hackney Literary Award winner for the unpublished novel.

Ed Davis, a native of Princeton, West Virginia, taught writing and humanities courses at Sinclair Community College in Dayton, Ohio, for 35 years before retiring in 2011. He has also taught both fiction and poetry at the Antioch Writers’ Workshop and is the author of the novels I Was So Much Older Then and The Measure of Everything, four poetry chapbooks, and many published stories and poems in anthologies and journals. He is also the author of Time of the Light, a poetry collection.

More praise for The Psalms of Israel Jones:

“Reading Ed Davis’s elegant prose is a little like listening to a Bob Dylan album: it’s nearly impossible to choose a favorite line.”
Sheila M. Trask, ForeWord Reviews

“Tight as a spring coiled to release and generous as an open hand, this is a book for fathers and sons, lovers, losers, doubters and believers – in short, for us all. ”
Valerie Nieman, author of Blood Clay and Fidelities

“The book is many things, and delightful in many ways. It’s a funny, scary road trip/love story/religio-socio portrait of America set to roots-rock music. Put some old LP’s on the record player and enjoy.”
Independent Publisher

Upcoming Events:

Sept. 26, 2014: Reading and discussion
Epic Bookshop in Yellow Springs, Ohio

Oct. 15, 2014: Reading and discussion
Coretta Scott King Center, Antioch College, Yellow Springs, Ohio

Nov. 9, 2014: Reading with a musical performance by the Fries
Hayner Cultural Center in Troy, Ohio

To order this book, visit wvupress.com, phone (800) 621-2736, or visit a local bookstore.

The Psalms of Israel Jones by Ed Davis
September 2014/281pp + reading and discussion questions
PB 978-1-940425-13-9: $16.99
ePub 978-1-94025-14-6: $16.99



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