Mystery author to sign books at Bookworks

Kurt Ayau, author of The Brick Murder; A Tragedy and Other Stories, will sign copies of his book at Bookworks in Downtown Staunton on Saturday, Sept. 24, from 2-4 p.m.

Winner of the Tartt First Fiction Award, The Brick Murder is a funnily tragic collection of stories that always borders on wondrously correct incorrectness: a manic and angered sub-sub-librarian learns about cultural differences from a manic and angered patron … a junior faculty member gets paid to befriend a senior star philandering poet … three kids and a rabbi discover the awful truth that God really is a process God … a token black man (Bob the Negro) accomplishes revenge in his work place — at a price … and a brick plays a momentous part in a tragedy.

This collection comes one short of a dozen, but nothing short in its style and reach.

When not writing, Ayau spends most of his time as a professor of English at Virginia Military Institute in Lexington.

“As for the tone of my stories, I guess I would say that I employ a tone of furious whimsy or bemused indignation,” Ayau said. “My view of the world is that of a Christian satirist. I see things that are so wrong, so stupid-headed, so out-of-whack, that my inner Vonnegut-O’Connor-Heller-Boyle comes bubbling out. If the choices are between weeping and laughing, I prefer to try to laugh, shaking my head, and perhaps encourage readers to do the same. Since I’ve been teaching at a military college for 20 years, I guess I would say that my pessimism is leavened by the eternal optimism of youth and that my outrage is tempered by the amused stoicism of the men and women of the armed forces.”



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