Every Boy Should Have a Man

Every Boy Should Have a Man

Preston L. Allen

Fantasy / Fiction / Science Fiction

"Allen’s concise book’s power lies within its understated irony, never more heavy-handed than a preacher’s admonition that 'a world without mans is a world without us all.' The plain narrative and relationship between boy and female man, rounded out with humor and occasional (sometimes literal) bite, promises to be a sleeper favorite among speculative audiences."--Publishers Weekly“Allen...throws caution to the wind with his bizarre but exquisitely composed fable that uses transhumanism as the prism to reflect on the nature of humanity...It’s also intellectually curious and rather cutting in many of its conceptual and cultural assessments. It’s a world where man is not only pet, but also meat, where religion, wars and empires are just as backward as they are in our own world, and where worlds collide with a temperamental angst that is as uncomfortable as it is alluring. Much like Pierre Boulle’s 1963 novel Planet of the Apes, this novel is a sardonic parable on the nature and destiny of the species. A nimble fable whose bold narrative experiment is elevated by its near-biblical language and affectionate embrace of our inherent flaws.”--Kirkus Reviews"Imaginative, versatile, and daring Allen (Jesus Boy, 2010) raids the realms of myth and fairy tales in this topsy-turvy speculative fable. …With canny improvisations on 'Jack and the Beanstalk,' the 'Epic of Gilgamesh,' and Alice in Wonderland, Allen sharpens our perceptions of class divides, racism, enslavement, and abrupt and devastating climate change to create a delectably adventurous, wily, funny, and wise cautionary parable."--Booklist"From this point forward, readers consulting any reference work addressing the concept of tour de force will find there a citation of Preston L. Allen's Every Boy Should Have a Man. It is one thing to devise a fable dealing so adroitly with such concepts as racism, war, religion, and the very nature of civilization itself, but Preston's true triumph is the infusion of each page and every astonishing episode with palpable emotional resonance."--Les Standiford, author of Desperate SonsA riveting, poignant satire of societal ills with an added dose of fantasy, Every Boy Should Have a Man takes place in a post-human world where creatures called oafs keep humanlike "mans" as beloved pets. One day, a poor boy oaf brings home a man whom he hides under his bed in the hopes his parents won't find out.With echoes of Margaret Atwood and Jack and the Beanstalk, Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels and Octavia Butler's Kindred, this is a picaresque journey into uncharted territory in earth, sky, and firmament.Oafs and mans each gain insight and understanding into one another's worlds, and the worlds that touch theirs—ultimately showing that oafs and mans alike share a common "humanity." Filled with surprising twists and turns, the novel is in part a morality tale that takes on many of today's issues, including poverty, the environment, sexism, racism, war, and religion, all in lighthearted King James prose.Preston L. Allen is a recipient of a State of Florida Individual Artist Fellowship and a winner of the Sonja H. Stone Prize in Fiction. He teaches writing in south Florida.Review"Every Boy Should Have a Man is a wild animal, a melancholy human, a hybrid with fangs and tears, a book that cannot be classified and should never be classified--it is a book that I read until late into the night, and then talked about with my daughters, my dog, my friends, and myself. I won't ever look at the daughters, or the dog, or the world, in quite the same way."--Susan Straight, author of Between Heaven and Here"In this new novel, Preston L. Allen writes with an elegance and honesty that make his observations on 'humanity' -- our common flaws, our insistent dishonesty, our daily failings -- a psalm, a love song to imperfection, and yet holds onto a firm and astute insight. Beautiful, elegiac, and optimistic."--Chris Abani, author of GracelandAbout the AuthorPreston L. Allen: Preston L. Allen is a recipient of a State of Florida Individual Artist Fellowship and a winner of the Sonja H. Stone Prize in Fiction for his collection of stories Churchboys and Other Sinners. His work has appeared in various literary anthologies and journals including Las Vegas Noir, Miami Noir, the Seattle Review, 1111, Drum Voices, and Black Renaissance Noire. His novels All or Nothing and Jesus Boy have received rave reviews from O, the Oprah Magazine, Library Journal, Feminist Review, and the New York Times. He teaches writing in South Florida.
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Jesus Boy

Jesus Boy

Preston L. Allen

Fantasy / Fiction / Science Fiction

Into an austere community of Christian believers at the Church of Our Blessed Redeemer Who Walked Upon the Waters come the star-crossed Romeo and Juliet. In the world of Jesus Boy, Romeo is sixteen-year-old Elwyn Parker, a devout and sincere piano prodigy, who learns too late that the saintly girl he has had a crush on all his life is inexplicably pregnant and soon to be wed to another. Juliet is the beautiful widow, Sister Morrisohn, age forty-two, who in the pain and confused emotions of her grieving, ends up in Elwyn's arms.Despite the problems posed by their age difference and the strict prohibitions of their strong religious beliefs, their love is true, and as it grows among the ascetics, abstainers, and holy ghost rollers of their church, it exposes with wit, poignancy, and insight the dark secrets and ancient crimes of the pious. In Jesus Boy, Elwyn learns through tragedy and epiphany that the holy are no different from the rest of us.
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