At the time they are converging on a lonely outpost in the desert the characters in Jesusville have lost faith—in God or the Church or the social order or themselves—and are searching to reclaim whatever they may. As their frustration intensifies, they resort to desperate measures which, in turn, expose their vulnerability, their need for redemption and, ultimately, their humanity.
ISBN: 978-1-60489-071-6 Trade paper $18.95 Sale $9.50
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Philip Cioffari is the author of two books of fiction: the mystery/thriller, CATHOLIC BOYS, and the short story collection, A HISTORY OF THINGS LOST OR BROKEN, which won the Tartt First Fiction Prize, and the D. H. Lawrence award for fiction. His short stories have been published widely in commercial and literary magazines and anthologies, including North American Review, Playboy, Michigan Quarterly Review, Northwest Review, Florida Fiction, and Southern Humanities Review. He has written and directed for Off and Off-Off Broadway. His Indie feature film, which he wrote and directed, LOVE IN THE AGE OF DION, has won numerous awards, including Best Feature Film at the Long Island Int’l Film Expo, and Best Director at the NY Independent Film & Video Festival. He is a Professor of English, and director of the Performing and Literary Arts Honors Program, at William Paterson University.
from the Book:
This is a lonely stretch of desert: a wide basin of grey silt, sage and mesquite, forty miles of nothingness between the San Lorenzo Mountains on the west and ache land to the east. An hour’s drive to the nearest blacktop, two before you’ll hit the Interstate.
No towns here. What you’ll find is an occasional outpost like the one at Indian Point: a cluster of buildings, weathered, flat-roofed, a sagging gas pump out front of the general store, its plate-glass window obscured by beer signs, and next to the store—knocked sideways into permanent slant by the wind—a shed that sold, or had for sale, second-hand tires and automotive parts. Your car breaks down, might as well forget it. Start walking back to wherever it is you come from.
Takes its name not from the Catholic sanctuary at the Refuge of Good Hope nor from the remnants of the now-defunct Holy Land theme park—not even from the Apaches who have come for centuries, once openly and now secretly, to worship their ancestors—but from Joshua Farley, a retired teacher from New York, who came out to “commune with the Lord Jesus.” He dedicated his life—‘till he vanished last year without a trace—to search for a rare species of the sage plant, rumored to grow wild in the hidden canyons of the San Lorenzo’s. The leaves of the plant, according to legend, induce an ecstatic state, thrust you face to face with the living God.
Here the sun beats from skies of the purest blue. In the radiance of day, under its glorious and constant stare, you might believe all things possible, that there is benevolence in the design of the universe. Nights, though. . . nights you lose your faith. Wind tears the surface from moonscapes of sand and rock. Time and space and self dissolve. Darkness unbroken. Darkness so long, so full of eternity, you’d swear morning’s never going to come.