Category Archives: Kenan, Randall

Randall Kenan. Let the Dead Bury Their Dead. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1992.

Randall Kenan introduced readers to the fictional town of Tims Creek in his 1989 novel A Visitation of Spirits and continued its story in his second book, Let the Dead Bury Their Dead. Its twelve short stories are connected by the town, a cast of recurring characters, and the themes of death, sex, and poverty. The title story is a parody of a scholarly article, complete with a deceased fictional author and extensive footnotes. Let the Dead Bury Their Dead was named a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award, was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and won the Lambda Award.

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Filed under 1990-1999, 1992, Coastal Plain, Kenan, Randall, Novels Set in Fictional Places

Randall Kenan. A Visitation of Spirits. New York : Vintage Contemporaries, 2000.

Kenan’s acclaimed first novel is the story of an African American family in the fictional town of Tims Creek in rural eastern North Carolina. Horace Cross, the sixteen-year-old protagonist of the book, is haunted by what may be actual demons, while at the same time trying to come to terms with his homosexuality. He seeks advice and comfort from his older cousin James, a schoolteacher and preacher, who fears that other family members will have a hard time understanding. This richly written novel is told in several shifting voices and styles.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC Library Catalog.

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Filed under 1980-1989, 1989, Coastal Plain, Kenan, Randall, Novels Set in Fictional Places