Frank Bill has lit a fire to a concept of violent, practically surreal conflict erupting from his highly literate mind and centered in—go figure—southern Indiana. Exploding onto the scene with his short stories, then a novel that runs wild with outlaw sports (“Donnybrook”) and a survival story for a simply stark apocalypse (“The Savage”), now we have a very personal look into something even more realistic. “Back to the Dirt” digs into the emotional, medical, economic, and criminal dead-ends facing many of America’s veterans. The novel’s plot has Appalachian noir spun up in an in-your-face frenzy, yet the characters who stand or fall can be seen in those among your neighbors who pursue desperate long-shot opportunities or substance-fueled oblivion. The author’s style of descriptive viscera isn’t just clipped here—it’s jagged. The tale’s relationship to the Vietnam tour of duty of Bill’s father makes a compelling reason to catch this reading/signing appearance. Kyle Minor, himself an edgy and enigmatic figure, will join the conversation.
Tuesday, May 9Carmichael's
7 p.m. | Free