The horizontal seemed slightly out of level, the vertical just a fraction out of plumb. Perhaps this very imbalance lay at the root of things: an eye perpetually beguiled and a brain constantly re-evaluating these images might draw insanity to it like a comforter. Yet he knew the evil predated the house. It was an evil perhaps indigenous to the slope and rise of the land, to the stark austerity of the woods surrounding the ruined plantation. Had he published earlier and lived longer, William Gay might have attained the status of a latter-day backwoods laureate on a par with Daniel Woodrell or Tom Franklin who provides a fond introductory essay to this novel. A navy man and Vietnam veteran who made a living as a carpenter, house painter and drywall hanger, Gay was 57 when he sold his first book, The Long Home.
William Gay, a self-taught novelist from rural Tennessee who emerged from obscurity in his late 50s with critically praised books in the Southern Gothic style, died last Thursday at his home, a log cabin in Hohenwald, southwest of Nashville. He was The cause was presumed to be a heart attack, said Sonny Brewer, a friend and editor in chief at Mr. The son of a sharecropper who spent much of his working life in blue-collar jobs, Mr.
William Gay was born in Hohenwald, Tennessee. For many years he made his living as a carpenter, drywall-hanger and house painter before publishing, in , his first novel, The Long Home , at the age of Inspired by the famous nineteenth-century Bell Witch haunting of Tennessee , it follows the unravelling life of David Binder, a writer who moves his young family to a haunted farmstead to try and find inspiration for his faltering work. Beautifully written and structured, Little Sister Death is a loving and faithful addition to the field of classic horror writing, eschewing any notions of irony or post-modern tricks as it aims, instead, straight for your soul.