I started my adult life as a journalist, but gave it up when I realized I wasn't going to become Walter Cronkite. I grew up in small towns in Missouri and Iowa, which make my adopted hometown of Louisville look like Manhattan.
I envy the dialogue of Daniel Woodrell, the sense of place of Silas House, and how Wendell Berry makes writing seem deceptively easy. I appreciate Elmore Leonard for being Elmore Leonard. I don't write like anyone but me.
A porn store, 100 ft. Jesus and a fainting kid from India. Just another day in Turk, Missouri.
Bhanu Ganesh can't catch a break. He comes from India with his parents to start a new life in rural Missouri where, as his American-born cousin says, a person "stands out like a vegan at a rib joint if he's anything other than white boy or a black cow." Bhanu arrives with everything short of a "kick me" sign on his back. His prep school getup, highbrow British accent, and pathological fear of feminine touch make him an immediate social outcast. Then there's his little arson habit, the primary reason his family comes to America for a fresh start. What's more, the new family business in the tiny town of Turk is selling adult movies and other products at a store along the interstate. That doesn't sit well with some of the locals, particularly those at the Turk Everlasting Church of God.