The Poison Pie Publishing House presents "Slow Ecclesiastes", a sprawling novel of America at the end of the twentieth century. Written from 1997-1999, "Slow Ecclesiastes" is unapologetically a monstrous psychological drama in the grand tradition of Fyodor Dostoyevsky. An extended cast of characters--mothers, sons, convicts, homosexuals, aesthetes, uncles, nieces, housekeepers--are embroiled in a skein of interwoven stories that knot together in a tangled mass, from which something other than heroism is required to escape.
"Slow Ecclesiastes", an American novel of the late twentieth century, begins by following three separate groups of people. First, Percy Riley is released from prison and returns to Kansas City, where he is welcomed by his mother and his friend and former fellow soldier, Alton. Between his mother's constant evangelism and Alton's nihilism, Percy finds solace in a return to crime. The second group is composed of an uncle, Maurice, and his charge, an orphaned niece, Lucy, living in Houston. Previously a confirmed bachelor, Maurice is overwhelmed by the challenges of raising Lucy alone. He hires help who, as the story unfolds, so thoroughly disapproves of the uncle's lackadaisical approach, that she instigates a sequence of events that may lead to the family's dissolution. The third and final group involves an aesthete, holed up in the woods of East Tennessee. By strange circumstances, he has secured an acolyte, a young boy, in whom he wishes to cultivate a superior appreciation,
though both the aesthete's aptitude to teach such a subject as well as the boy's willingness to learn are both in question.
As "Slow Ecclesiastes" progresses these three distinct threads are gradually braided into an single, epic tale, which through knots and tangles, eventually unravels and is discarded in the great rubbish heap of humanity at the end of the twentieth century.
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About the Author
David J. Keffer was born in Kansas City, MO. He pursued a technical education earning a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Florida and a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Minnesota. After a year as a post-doctoral scholar at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C., he began his career as an engineering professor at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, where he remains today. He has published about 90 technical papers in archival journals. Outside of engineering, David Keffer studied world literature and creative writing. He has published analytical articles on the works of Primo Levi and Kobo Abé located in the Scriptorium of The Modern Word site (http://www.themodernword.com/). He created various reading aids to several classical Chinese novels (http://tinyurl.com/3k8n9qm). Over the past two decades, David Keffer has been active writing novels, poetry and stories. Several novels and illustrated stories are available on the web at http://www.poisonpie.com. David Keffer lives in Knoxville, Tennessee with his wife, Lynn, and two children. As a family, they enjoy hiking through the local mountains and are always on the look out for poison pie and other ambivalent mushrooms that dot the landscape.