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Deliver Me from Nowhereby Tennessee Jones
Synopses & Reviews
In 1982, Bruce Springsteen departed from an upbeat rock and roll sound to release Nebraska — a spare, haunting piece of storytelling populated by deadbeats, desperadoes, and the poor souls unfortunate enough to fall in love with them. In Deliver Me from Nowhere, the shadowy folk fables of Springsteen's masterwork are reimagined in starkly beautiful short stories that trace a proud but perilous journey into the racial and sexual badlands of Middle America. An unnamed girl takes a dangerous older lover and is whisked into an interstate killing spree. A transgendered man attempts to go home after years of absence and wonders what his family will think of him. As these restless characters traverse arbitrary borders both internal and external, they question the possibility and even desirability of redemption.
"Tennessee Jones's interpretive fictions are as big, bleak and beautiful as the American landscape, all full of lonely smells, whiskey, class desperation, and the dusty, archetypal dirt road to nowhere." Michelle Tea, author of Valencia and The Chelsea Whistle
"Tennessee delivers gender with a wallop. This writing creeps right up on you — with all its authentic normalcy and like the worst story you ever heard in high school, Deliver me from Nowhere leaves a residue you can't escape. There's an undeniable truth to it." Eileen Myles, author of Cool For You
The shadowy folk fables of Bruce Springsteen's masterwork Nebraska are reimagined in starkly beautiful short stories that trace a proud but perilous journey into the racial and sexual badlands of Middle America.
From the portrait of a man laid off from an auto plant — who fantasizes about eating the car he helped build — to the chilling first person account of a killing spree, the stories in Deliver Me From Nowhere illuminate the changing forces behind American discontent. Set against the expansive emptiness of the American landscape, Deliver Me From Nowhere presents a brave new view of the shifting territory between gender and class, power and death.
As the stories pass quickly beyond the "universal" themes — salvation, redemption, the search for joy — that have transformed Springsteen's songs into anthems, its characters question whether redemption is possible or even desirable. In doing so, Tennessee Jones's unforgettable people extract — sometimes to their own bereavement and awe — the thread of religion that runs through the American experience of rock and roll.
Based on Bruce Springsteens 1982 album "Nebraska," Tennessee Jones—who was three years old when the album came out—uses interlinked short stories to explore the changing face of America over the two decades since its release. From the closing of the auto plants to the coming of age of the GLBT movement, the forces behind Americans changing lives find expression in Jones diverse characters. From the portrait of a man laid off an auto plant—who fantasizes about eating the car he helped build—to the twelve year old boy who watches his fathers red-river baptism and understands the connection between work and death, Jones uncompromising visions present a brave new view of the shifting territory between gender and class, power and death. A testament to how rock music and literature influence and borrow from one another, Deliver me from Nowhere is as much influenced by Flannery OConnor and John Steinbeck as it is by Bruce Springsteen, Johnny Cash, Patti Smith, and traditional gospel hymns. Infused with the urgency of rock n roll and the restraint of poetry, Tennessee Jones' unforgettable stories manage to extract the thread of religion that runs through the American experience of rock and roll.
About the Author
Tennessee Jones is the author of the long-running underground 'zine Teenage Death Songs. His work has appeared in numerous publications, including the Best American Erotica series and Lodestar Quarterly. The flask in his back pocket reads "Hungry Heart."
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