Our Lady of Good Voyage
a novel by Kevin Honold
Winner of The 2021 Orison Fiction Prize, selected by Debra Spark
*Available for pre-order.*
paper / $20.00
Distributed to the trade by Itasca Books
952-223-8373 / email@example.com
Publication Date: May 7, 2024
ABOUT THE BOOK
Set in the 1990s, Our Lady of Good Voyage captures the desultory and liminal feeling of the decade. In a tale reminiscent of McMurtry or Kerouac, cynical yet lyrical Joe and mystical, ridiculous Kenny light out for the territory, pursuing Kenny’s dream-vision of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Their quest takes them from the backwater neighborhoods of Cincinnati, Ohio through many other less-loved provinces of America, all the way to the Mexican border and even, thanks to the US Army, on a brief stint in Somalia. Whether these young men find success of any kind is perhaps hard to say, but a strange blessedness nonetheless seems to preside over their many comical failures.
"I love this novel about the friendship between two childhood friends, negotiating their twenties. Both are seekers and visionaries in their own way. Kenny, who undertakes a spiritual pilgrimage, has visions (in the conventional sense). But Joe, the protagonist and Kenny's road companion, may be the actual seer. True, he is the secular, practical character, but his brilliant and original perceptions of the novel's multiple blighted landscapes and defeated characters drive the narrative. With poetic intensity and no-nonsense humor, Kevin Honold renders the down-and-out, as they limp toward a complicated transcendence."
—Debra Spark, judge of The 2021 Orison Fiction Prize
"Mikhail Bakhtin praised Dostoevsky’s fantastic manner of combining 'a mystical-religious element with an extreme' and even crude 'slum naturalism,' wherein the 'adventures of truth on earth' take place in dens of thieves and taverns, marketplaces and prisons. Our Lady of Good Voyage inhabits the same strange admixture and adventure. With incandescent, well-tuned prose, the novel helps us to hear soulful wavelengths across wasteland America. Honold registers the sundry reasons why we should wane weary in a world where 'the light and mincing timbre of [a man’s voice] sounded more like a gas leak than human speech.' But his depth perception allows him to see—and show us—what’s worth salvaging along the voyage he dares call good—from the clogged toilets of a hard-knock childhood through the hellfire orange garb of prison, from Salvation Army tables set with scraps of sympathy to a dubious Army stint in Somalia."
—Joshua Hren, author of Infinite Regress and Contemplative Realism
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kevin Honold is the author of a novel, Molly (winner of The 2020 Autumn House Book Prize), an essay collection, The Rock Cycle (winner of The 2019 River Teeth Book Prize), and a poetry collection, Men as Trees Walking (winner of The 2009 OSU Press/The Journal Book Award). Honold is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati, and is currently a History and Special Education teacher in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
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$20.00 Regular Price