by Lee Maynard
Screaming with the Cannibals, the much anticipated sequel to Lee Maynardâ€™s cult classic Crum, gets its title when the central character finds himself in an evangelical service in Kentucky on the other side of the Tug River from his native West Virginia. As the folks touched by the Spirit rave and howl, he remembers how, back in Crum, the folks used to tell him to stay on his side of the river, because the people on the other side were known to eat their children. And now, here he is in a Kentucky holy-roller church, screaming with the cannibals.
Since the first novel, our protagonist has visited the West Virginia holler where his family lived before he moved up to the greater sophistication of Crum, and there he discovers that his favorite uncle has disappeared from the face of the earth in a moonshining accident. He then meets the girl who makes the earth â€“ or at least the hay loft â€“ move for him, quite literally falling for her. From there he goes to Kentucky, and then to Myrtle Beach, where he gets hired as a lifeguard, although he cannot swim a stroke.
If Crum is (as many have said) West Virginiaâ€™s answer to J. D. Salingerâ€™s The Catcher in the Rye, then Screaming with the Cannibals is Appalachiaâ€™s response to John Updikeâ€™s Rabbit Run.
Maynardâ€™s descriptions remain as unflattering as ever. And the four-letter words and steamy sex will offend many readers. -- James E. Casto, Huntington Herald Dispatch
[Maynard] once again succeeds in delivering a devastatingly, soul-searching, scabrous and very funny literary experience. -- Michael Shannon Friedman, Charleston Gazette, October 12, 2003
About the author:
Lee Maynard was born in Wayne County, West Virginia, and grew up in the countyâ€™s small towns â€“ and hollows â€“ that shape much of his writing. His relatives still live in the county, as they have for more than 200 years.
He is a graduate of West Virginia University and attended graduate school at Marshall University.
Maynard is a novelist, short story writer, screenwriter, editor and journalist. As a journalist, he has been an assignment writer for Readerâ€™s Digest for more than a decade. He has been published more than 100 times in publications as diverse as The Saturday Review, Readerâ€™s Digest, Columbia Review of Literature, Appalachian Heritage, Washington Post, Country America, Christian Science Monitor, and on Mighty Words, an e-publishing site.
Maynardâ€™s previous novel, Crum, was the first original fiction published by Washington Square Press, a division of Simon & Schuster, in 1988. The second edition of Crum was published in 2001 as the first book from Vandalia Press.
Maynard wrote Screaming with the Cannibals, a sequel to Crum, with the support from a Literary Fellowship in Fiction from the National Endowment for the Arts.
An avid outdoorsman and conversationalist, Maynard is a mountaineer, sea kayaker, skier, and former professional river runner. He has recently rode a motorcycle from his home near Santa Fe, New Mexico, to the Arctic Circle.