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ISBN: 978-1-937854-80-5
Reviews & Media Review in Examiner.com
Categories Fiction, Novels

John the Revelator

Publication Date: February 2014


“Every prophet needs a home where they can hate him,” says the black buzzard of the title character’s nightmares. Part reluctant Tiresias, part locusts-and-honey outcast, teenaged John stumbles into the darker thickets of human insight-the high arts of vice and violence-and the small Alabama town he calls home will never be the same when he comes out the other side. T.J. Beitelman’s John the Revelator is the novel that Francesca Lia Block would write if someone dragged her kicking and screaming to Alabama and she started writing from the darkest corners of the Southern Gothic tradition.


“John the Revelator is a romping bildungsroman for the contemporary South: a boy in search of sacred text among archetypes and icons-hustlers, good ole boys, visionary hermits, convenience stores and Yoko Ono, a little Tom Sawyer, a little late Barry Hannah, Oliver Twist via Quentin Tarrantino.”

-Lucy Corin

Believe me when I tell you I am writing this note on the Feast of the Epiphany witnessing this smorgasbord of eye-opening delectable dialects spread out in TJ Beitelman’s John the Revelator. The tongues with which Mr. Beitelman speaks are legion. Slick, studded, silky, budding with delight. This is a delicious mixed mash-up of texts, recovered from the electro-magnetic soup we can call the unconscious consciousness. Believe me! Who knew you were the operator standing by to receive this book’s urgent call?”

-Michael Martone

About the Author

TJ Beitelman

TJ Beitelman is a writer, teacher, and manuscript consultant living in Birmingham, Alabama. He’s published a novel, John the Revelator, and a collection of short fiction, Communion, as well as three collections of poetry: In Order to Form a More Perfect UnionAmericana, and This Is the Story of His Life, all from Black Lawrence Press. His stories and poems have appeared widely in literary magazines, and he’s received fellowships from the Alabama State Council on the Arts and the Cultural Alliance of Greater Birmingham. He taught writing and literature at Virginia Tech, where he earned an M.A. in English, and at the University of Alabama, where he earned an M.F.A. in creative writing and also edited Black Warrior Review. He currently directs the creative writing program at the Alabama School of Fine Arts in Birmingham. He can be found on-line at tjbman.me.

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