I’ve had stories published in over 100 literary magazines. Pineapple, A Comic Novel in Verse, has just been published by Sagging Meniscus Press. I have a novel forthcoming next fall from New South Books entitled, The Theoretics of Love. A previous novel of mine, Oldcat & Ms. Puss: A Book of Days for You and Me, was published several years ago by the now defunct Black Belt Press, and it was reviewed in Publishers Weekly. I have three story collections published, and I’ve edited several anthologies, notably, Belles’ Letters: Contemporary Fiction by Alabama Women and Tartts One through Five. I recently published a novel with the imposing title, Let There Be Lite, OR, How I Came To Know and Love Godel’s Incompleteness Proof.
The Theoretics of Love
The Theoretics of Love will be available in September 2019 through your favorite local or online book retailer. Retailers, contact Ingram Publisher Services (IPS) at 866-400-5351 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or order via ipage.ingrambook.com. For more information, see https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__www.newsouthbooks.com&d=DwIFaQ&c=nOtnazR3DLgYxCBhDYGsICl6GTH-UFTocux6-zCTQto&r=2SSpsBvo-IsXzMbZpgOVuQ&m=DatPz2OegRSDfRS3ePDHOe4_UcbI0xkY3gOht9xIAC0&s=mhduMAGSuhHS-HP-zc0rlZj7JL7pQYSvvCJeBpkuOAs&e= .
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"Joe Taylor is a quirky genius of a storyteller. In vivid, beautiful language - sometimes erudite, sometimes edgy - he tells of eccentric characters who are in search of the genuine. The Theoretics of Love is emotionally profound, a great joy to read." -Anthony Grooms, author of Bombingham and The Vain Conversation
Everyone is constantly admonishing our narrator to keep quiet: "You're full of bull hockey, college boy... Shut up and drink your beer." Or, "'Shut up,' Michelle replied. 'Shut up,' Michelle repeated." Or,"Don't look up. At least don't shout anything when you do. She's here, on te balcony." Or, "'Shit.' Sarah spit this out like a too-hot cinnamon ball, pulled me off the dental chair, and led me to the closet with the skeleton, shushing me with her fingers." Or, "Hush, be still. Tacete, tacete." Everyone admonishes him, when all he wants to do is shout the wonders, the horrors, the terrors that he and his older adoptive brother Galen face as one spiritual incursion after another manifests in their lives, moving from trickster poltergeists to forlornly wandering ghosts to intent fetches to avenging revenants. Perhaps, instead of admonishing him, everyone would do better to heed his early, youthful deliberation: "I never heard his voice again after that night. If we humans could always recognize the last words we were to ever to hear from each person we knew or even met, our lives would perch as fragile indeed, gathering tragedy every listening moment to lean over a dark cellar, of dark farewells."
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MASQUES FOR THE FIELDS OF TIME
Many of these stories—most especially “The Man Who Haunted Himself” and the title story—were inspired by dream visions. I try to take such visions and search for the human truth concealed within, working within a framework of verisimilitude. While I partially envy the creating of “realistic” fiction, I’m typically happy to write in the romantic mode. Um, gee, Vonnegut, Emily Bronte, and Laurence Sterne strike me as worthy of emulation. Nonetheless, several other stories in this collection (“Soft Queen,” “Ontological,” and “All Lovely”) were originally intended for a novel of linked stories that basically aimed toward an admixture of psychological/love/detective realism. For the sake of that novel’s plot progression the three were trimmed, to be included herewith. And then the stories “Breakdown Club” and “The Secret Life of Atheists” from whence? The latter came from my youthful infatuation with Sartre and Camus. Why not, I figured, toss in some wine and Simone DuBeauvoir? And “Breakdown Club”? The junction of a trip to the zoo and my year and a half apprenticeship as a concrete finisher brought that one about. No matter the inspiration, I do think that all these stories offer a vision of life that comes across a bit skewed. And what life doesn’t offer that, in the end?
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Welcome to Los Alamos, where the big-brained boys and girls are at it again. But atoms have become passé: now it’s the Higgs boson, which they are using to develop a clean, efficient weapon of mini-destruction, mysteriously dropping bodies and groups of bodies into junior black holes within a fifty mile radius. Moreover, they’re accomplishing this perfidy in comic rhyming quatrains. Can an intrepid group of six amateur do-gooders resolve the mystery and prevent the unleashing of this new WMD? With the help of several Doberman pinschers, a versificative Kentucky writer and his vivacious muse, Herr Morguemeister, and Verdi’s Otello, a resolution seems just possible.
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Back to the Wine Jug
Dateline: Hades, the Underworld, where things go bad. But things are going even worse up top with red/blue states, Brexit, the Middle East, Hong Kong, and college football. Diogenes, still toting his lantern in search of one honest (wo)man, is appointed by Lord Hades himself to teleport up to lovely Birmingham, Alabama, and mollify sundial matters, accompanied by his Doberman Pluto and Victoria Woodhull, the suffragette and 1872 presidential candidate. The trio is on the case to right the world's confusion. But Lord H. being a consomméed plot thickener, they find themselves followed in the transporter by the commie-hating troublemaker, Edgar Hoover...
"In Back to the Wine Jug, Joe Taylor once again proves he’s a master of the comic- novel-in-verse form. (What? You haven’t yet read Wine Jug’s precursor, Pineapple? Hop to!) This time out, in a ‘universe ruled by flaw,’ peopled by the ‘survival of the mostly fit,’ Diogenes beams up from Hades, once again on the hunt for an honest being—a task made even tougher in the era of ‘Let America Hate Again.’ (Does Dio meet with success? Hint: ‘It’s not over until the fat angel rings.’) Make no mistake, Taylor employs linguistic virtuosity and comedic camp to achieve more than yuks here. Reading this book will make you laugh, for sure, but its incisive commentary on our chaotic present will also make you think.”
—Kat Meads, author of Miss Jane: The Lost Years
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The Jester of Literature
"Joe Taylor is a wonder and a gift to us all, especially to Southern letters. I'm grateful for his generous spirit, for his big hearted writing, and, of course, for his astoudingly beautiful beard." -Brad Watson, author of Miss Jane