New Book! Sacred and Immoral: On the Writings of Chuck Palahniuk
Our old friend and longtime contributor to The Cult, Jeffrey Sartain, is dropping in with some very exciting news for you all. There's a new book! Well no... not by Chuck Palahniuk. Rather, it's a new book about Chuck Palahniuk. You see, Jeff is the undisputed king of all things related to the academia of Palahniuk. Therefore, I doubt you're ever going to find a more thorough examination of Chuck's works then Sacred & Immoral.
With that, I'll hand the mic over to Jeff.
I’m happy to announce the publication of Sacred and Immoral: On the Writings of Chuck Palahniuk. The book is an academic anthology, intended for scholars, students, and fans, and features eleven original essays about Chuck’s post-Fight Club novels, as well as an interview with Chuck, an up-to-date Chuck bibliography, and a unique foreword by Monica Drake. This book has been a labor of love, as I think anyone who reads it can tell. Each and every author represented here is a die-hard fan of Palahniuk’s work; our goal is to demonstrate the powerful meanings that readers are able to draw from Palahniuk’s literature, and to inspire further scholarship and conversation about his work.
The volume itself represents a kind of extended conversation around Palahniuk’s work, since the scholars and scholarship come from a variety of countries, backgrounds, and disciplines. Monica Drake, author of Clown Girl, wrote the foreword for the volume, reflecting on her experiences in Tom Spanbauer’s “Dangerous Writing” workshops with Chuck Palahniuk, and what makes his fiction so vital and important in contemporary culture. The volume follows with eleven original analyses of Palahniuk’s fiction, each taking on some different aspect of
literature, culture, or philosophy inherent in the novels (Chapter 1, Kenneth MacKendrick’s “Chuck Palahniuk and the New Journalism Revolution” is available on Amazon.com, as well as the complete table of contents).
Additionally, the book concludes with two unique items. First is literary scholar Matt Kavanagh’s interview with Chuck Palahniuk, “Of Failed Romance, Writer’s Malpractice, and Prose for the Nose.” Kavanagh avoids the media’s almost fetishistic fixation with Chuck’s grisly family history (anyone read the recent interview in Playboy?), instead turning the interview toward literary matters of influence, composition, and context for what is, perhaps, the most literary interview Palahniuk has ever given.
Second is my four-part bibliography of Chuck Palahniuk’s work and Palahniuk-related scholarship. These bibliographies represent the culmination of a five-year project to catalogue Palahniuk’s prolific output, as well as immediate analyses, interviews, and reviews of his work. This project was a massive undertaking, and wouldn’t have been possible without the assistance of several diligent and gracious Cultists. My thanks, again, to those who helped track down some of the rare and far flung sources!
It’s been great to write and research Palahniuk’s literature for so long, and now it’s fantastic that we’re able to offer all that work to everyone. We hope that our book contributes, in some small way, to the continuing conversation. Thanks for everything, and happy reading Cultists!