Coverart for item
The Resource West Virginia : a novel, Joe Halstead

West Virginia : a novel, Joe Halstead

Label
West Virginia : a novel
Title
West Virginia
Title remainder
a novel
Statement of responsibility
Joe Halstead
Creator
Author
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
When Jamie Paddock learns of his father's suicide, memories of his childhood in West Virginia come roaring back. One of the few people in his town to ever make it out, Jamie's living in New York City now, developing marketing videos for YouTube, struggling to write and partying a lot -- all while suppressing the accent that gives him away. Spurred by an artistic curiosity surrounding his silent and private father, Jamie goes home, staying with his disabled mother and sister in their trailer, conveniently located between two Walmarts. Always poorer than the local coal miners, Jamie's family relies on welfare, but it is the mystery of his father's suicide that will help define Jamie's identity and possibly decide whether he leaves West Virginia for good
Storyline
Tone
Writing style
Character
Review
  • In Halstead’s debut novel, a young man returns to his Appalachian roots after his father’s suicide and struggles with the simultaneous love and hate he feels for his West Virginia hometown. Jamie Paddock has been in New York City since a failed attempt at college, working for an advertising company, going to parties, and trying (unsuccessfully) to concentrate on his writing. When his father jumps off a bridge, Jamie hesitates to go back to West Virginia; without a body, no funeral arrangements have been made. But after spending a couple of evenings with a bizarre woman who steals a treasured memento from his childhood, Jamie boards a train home. Back home in Mount Lookout, he is reminded of the specific brand of poverty in which his family lives and unearths strange details about his father’s past—a rejection letter from an art gallery, a stolen goat—that make him question his image of the man and his family. The narrative relies on some predictable archetypes but is bolstered by Jamie’s overall likability and the beautiful, menacing descriptions of the West Virginian environment. This tale of family ties without a falsely satisfying resolution introduces a powerful and authentic voice. (Jan.) --Staff (Reviewed 01/09/2017) (Publishers Weekly, vol 264, issue 02, p)
  • In Halstead's debut, young Jamie Paddock is pulled home to the hard-worn, poverty-stricken West Virginia mountains by the apparent suicide of his father.Jamie was smart enough to earn entrance to New York University, leaving coal-mining country behind, but his education lasted only one anxiety-ridden year. Dropping out, Jamie begins writing scripts for an advertising company. Now word's come that his beloved father has jumped from the towering New River Gorge Bridge. Flashbacks aside, most of Jamie's tale takes place in his home state among folks "educated beyond their intelligence...knowing just enough to understand how miserable their lives actually were." The mystery of his father's death will grow as Jamie encounters more family secrets. His mother, with multiple sclerosis, and his sister, introverted and isolated because of epilepsy, are single-wide-trailer-trapped by West Virginia's poverty and without a "sense of possibility." Other supporting characters are archetypes: Sara, a Manhattan hookup with whom Jamie finds kinship while she battles depression with cutting and drugs; Jon, Jamie's boss, is riding a tech trend till it crashes and burns; and, more sympathetically, Jen, gallery manager at Tamarack, a West Virginia art center, whom Jamie finds intriguing. Halstead's descriptions are thoroughly artistic, whether they're of the party scene or the big city's gritty human rainbow or the strip-mined mountains and franchise-glutted highways. With a protagonist plagued by inner conflict and angst, the novel is generally bleak, but it closes with an allusion to better days to come. No Look Homeward Angel this; rather a hapless family and road-trip blues.(Kirkus Reviews, December 1, 2016)
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
10549595
Cataloging source
YDXCP
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Halstead, Joe
Dewey number
813/.6
Index
no index present
Literary form
novels
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Suicide
  • Fathers and sons
  • Fathers and sons
  • Social conditions
  • Suicide
  • West Virginia
  • West Virginia
  • West Virginia
Label
West Virginia : a novel, Joe Halstead
Instantiates
Publication
Copyright
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
1740613
Dimensions
21 cm
Extent
215 pages
Isbn
9781944700041
Lccn
2016960490
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
  • (Sirsi) i9781944700041
  • (OCoLC)951453191
Label
West Virginia : a novel, Joe Halstead
Publication
Copyright
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
1740613
Dimensions
21 cm
Extent
215 pages
Isbn
9781944700041
Lccn
2016960490
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
  • (Sirsi) i9781944700041
  • (OCoLC)951453191

Library Locations

    • Carver BranchBorrow it
      1161 Angelina St., Austin, TX, 78702, US
      30.2695584 -97.7240278
    • Central LibraryBorrow it
      710 W. Cesar Chavez St, Austin, TX, 78701, US
      30.2713021 -97.7460168
    • Willie Mae Kirk BranchBorrow it
      3101 Oak Springs Dr., Austin, TX, 78723, US
      30.2729762 -97.699748
    • Yarborough BranchBorrow it
      2200 Hancock Dr., Austin, TX, 78756, US
      30.3234684 -97.74072129999999
Processing Feedback ...