Gradle Bird by J.C. Sasser Explores Bullying Gone Bad
Signing and reading from debut Southern Gothic novel, Gradle Bird, at the end of this month on August 31, 7pm at Malaprop’s Bookstore. www.malaprops.com
Twenty-nine years after befriending a schizophrenic genius, author J.C. Sasser delivers on her promise: to tell his story.
At age 13, J.C. Sasser met 60-year-old E-5 Evans Miles The Lone Singer, self-described music-man and professional dumpster diver and vowed she would one day write a book about him. June 15th, 2017, Sasser delivered her promise in her Southern Gothic debut novel, Gradle Bird, a fictional account of their unlikely friendship.
“Evans Miles had a hard time separating fact from fiction,” explains Sasser. “People in my hometown liked to harass him and play jokes on him for their own entertainment. They’d convince him the principal of our high school wanted to steal his wife, they’d leave nasty notes on his car to provoke him. He’d always tell me about people wanting to ambush him and challenge him to duels. And he’d talk a lot about being in the Worldwide Wrestling Federation and how he was an undercover F.B.I. agent. He’d brag about how he could fast draw his .357 magnum 6 speed Ruger pistol within 2 seconds 97% accurate on target each and every time. Evans wasn’t completely innocuous. I always feared one of these jokes would end up in tragedy.”
The haunting result of Sasser’s imaginings, Gradle Bird is replete with eccentric characters, derelict settings, and dysfunctional family dynamics. A blend between Faulkner’s A Rose for Emily and Billy Bob Thornton’s “Sling Blade,” and akin to the hyper-buzzy, critically acclaimed podcast “S-Town,” Gradle Bird spins an unusual tale of self-discovery and redemption that explores the infirmities of fatherly love, the complexities of human cruelty, and the consequences of guilt, while proving they are possible to overcome no matter how dark and horrible the cause.