Fiction. Winner of the 2007 Ruthanne Wiley Memorial Novella Contest Selected by Steve Lattimore. SNAKETOWN tells of a place that captivates and holds hostage, a place hermitic and congenital like the families that populate it. It tells the story of heredity and tragedy; how evil can magnetize as mightily as beauty, how a family, nostalgic for past times—devastating times—can revise damaging, damning memory; how the familiar should never be trusted.
Author City: Sherman Oaks, CA USA
Kathleen Wakefield is a lyricist who began her songwriting career at Motown Records. She has worked in film and television with composers that include Academy Award winners Michel Colombier, Vangelis, and Gabriel Yared. Her stories have appeared in such journals as The Alaska Quarterly, Black River Review, The New Press, Salmagundi, Tabula Rasa, and West Branch. She lives in Los Angeles and the Pacific Northwest, where she is working on another novella, and a play in two acts.
Reviews and Other Links
Marc Schuster @ Small Press Reviews
Chris Margrave in Front Porch Journal
Nadine Dalton Speidel @ Gently Read Literature
“Kathleen Wakefield’s imagination constructed a minefield of malady when she wrote SNAKETOWN. SNAKETOWN’s soil has been raped by the mining industry and infected by a contagious soul sickness, which has spread to its inbred and insular community. Here is a morality tale of darkness and decline told in brilliant lyrical detail, biblically enchanting.”
“SNAKETOWN is a shocking achievement. It’s a vision carved in jagged, searing, native prose from the bleak landscape of the American psyche. This story of a crumbling community clinging to a rock, its people flawed and haunted and kin to us all, is an experience so vivid, so terrifying, and so compelling that I fear part of me will be stuck there forever. A work of rare beauty, it’s art and storytelling of the highest order.”
“In venomous lyricism, Kathleen Wakefield captures the sweltering emptiness at the rim of the high desert in another, woebegone time, where the rustling behind you may be angels’ wings or diamondback scales. This scathing novella will remain with you long after you have put it away. A searing triumph. You must read this book!”