Saturday, March 15, 2014

"The Unheralded King of Preston Plains Middle," by Jedah Mayberry

The Unheralded King of Preston Plains Middle, by Jedah Mayberry
Price: $0.99
330 pages, with a 4.6-star rating from 11 reviews

"It's a rare novel that captures the entire tapestry of a family history. The Unheralded King of Preston Plains Middle is one of those books. Though the story is about a young boy's entry into manhood in the midst of tragedy, it is also about the men and women whose lives intertwined in order to allow his story to exist. Jedah Mayberry has written a novel that will sit among the likes of The Known World by Edward P. Jones, Sula by Toni Morrison, and The Farming of Bones by Edwidge Danticat. In other words, The Unheralded King of Preston Plains is a marvelous and ambitious first novel, and Jedah Mayberry is a writer to keep your eyes on." -- Amazon reviewer

A lushly told reflection on a young man's passage into manhood
From irascible patriarch Alonzo "Grandpa Tuke" Tooker on down, the Hopkins family -- altruistic Dottie, dissatisfied Chester, and their sons Langston and Trajan -- are no typical residents of the Thames River Valley town of Preston, Connecticut. This is perhaps most true of Langston, a boy whose peers declare him to be the "King of Preston Plains Middle School": a vibrant young man dedicated to his dream of competing in Olympic-level Tae Kwon Do, as well as to his growing passion for his beautiful classmate Angelica Chu.

Yet when a terrible accident brings Langston's Olympic dreams to an abrupt close, Trajan Hopkins, the family's youngest son, must learn to cope alone with the coming trials of adult life: his slowly changing relationship with self-destructing childhood friends, his initiation into the world of women at the hands of a former teacher, and his growing awareness of the risky world outside his family's circle within the shadow of a Haitian drug lord's operation and the often-threatening local police who watch over it.

Jedah Mayberry's The Unheralded King of Preston Plains Middle marks the debut of a striking new voice in American fiction: intelligent, richly cadenced, slyly funny, and deeply thoughtful about what it means to be a son, a father, and a man.

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Meet the Author

Jedah Mayberry's is an emerging fiction writer, born in New York, raised in southeastern, CT, the backdrop for his fiction debut, The Unheralded King of Preston Plains Middle (March 2013, River Grove Books). He was a top ten finalist for the 2013 Best New Author Award sponsored by the National Black Book Festival. He also garnered honorable mention in Glimmer Trains April 2012 Family Matters Short Story Contest. He currently resides with his wife and teenage daughters in Austin, TX.

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