The Occidental Hotel

By John Mays
Introduction by Anne Collins & Richard Rhodes

The Occidental Hotel
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A brooding fugitive hides out in a crumbling hotel that was once filled with celebrities enjoying the successes of postwar America. He is a racist with a criminal past, an anti-hero who reflects on the ruins of the South and simultaneously on the life of a German performance ... Read more


Overview

A brooding fugitive hides out in a crumbling hotel that was once filled with celebrities enjoying the successes of postwar America. He is a racist with a criminal past, an anti-hero who reflects on the ruins of the South and simultaneously on the life of a German performance artist called Jupp. The fictional Jupp is a thinly-veiled cipher for the late real-life German artist, Joseph Beuys, and the photos in the novel are photos of the performances by the controversial Beuys. At once echoing the moody worlds of W. G. Sebald and incorporating outrageous elements of pulp fiction, this novel of dark romanticism is not for optimists seeking redemption, but for those willing to take a look into a searing heart of darkness.

Reviews

On Power in the Blood:Amazon. com ReviewOstensibly a family memoir, John Bentley Mays's Power in the Blood is a lyrical remembrance of his ancestors in the American South. He traces his lineage back to the arrival of a forebear in 1609 and then provides an illuminating view of how historical events were experienced by a large extended family. Mays's chronicle of his ancestors' lives during the colonial period, through the great upheavals of the Civil War, and into the 20th century is a beautifully written and highly informative narrative. From Library JournalA Canadian unearths his Southern roots in what the publisher hopes is another Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. From Kirkus ReviewsA soul-searching memoir makes poetic hay of the saw that you can take the boy out of the South, but you can't take the South out of the boy. Mays's picturesque childhood on a Louisiana cotton plantation ended abruptly with his parents' deaths. He withdrew into a fantasy of ultra-Southernness and, after a mental br

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