“This is a terrific story, beautifully written, and completely enthralling.”—Dorothy Allison
“I admire the sentences, the clarity of mind, and characters who catch and keep our attention. Bob Dylan sings about a journey ‘all the way from New Orleans to Jerusalem…’ as way of apotheizing, scrutinizing, and recognizing the world we live in. Laura Scott is on the way.”—Alan Cheuse
What if your most fervent wish could come true, and all you had to do was…die first. Recovering from a bitter divorce, middle-aged Victor Swaim wants nothing more than to live a carefree, drunken existence in New Orleans, making capes and corsets, and lusting for Pebbles, the girl who lives across the street.
But, after a series of deathbed wishes come true—including the curing of cancer, the elimination of cats, the return of Elvis (1967 vintage), the clouds turning orange, mothers growing third eyes and cups of coffee becoming bottomless—the hysteria that grows around “Death Wishing” forces Victor into action. Along with his entrepreneurial son Val and his libertine friend Martine, Victor must battle the apocalyptics who have seduced Pebbles away from her true vocation of singing the blues (very badly) while at the same time confronting his mortal identity: just what would he wish for the world without him in it?
Laura Ellen Scott teaches fiction writing at George Mason University. Her work has been selected for The Wigleaf Top Fifty of 2009 and Barrelhouse magazine’s “Futures” issue. She has twice been nominated for Dzanc’s Best of the Web 2010 anthology.
Read the review in Necessary Fiction.
Read the review in Shelf Awareness.
Watch Laura read from Death Wishing at the Fall for the Book Festival.