“This is the secret book at the heart of American letters. Holt is one of the finest American writers alive.”―Junot DíazIn the Valley of the Kings marks the extraordinary debut of Terrence Holt, who fifteen years ago abandoned a promising writing career to practice medicine. Moved by his patients’ valor in the face of death, seeking to comprehend the mysteries revealed at their bedside, Holt has taken up fiction again. He emerges now with this astonishing collection of one novella and seven short stories that explore the farthest reaches of the imagination in a style that recalls the nineteenth-century American masters.
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Praise for In the Valley of the Kings
“Holt is my favorite writer. There is no one in the wide sea of English who writes like him, no one so profoundly, mysteriously, so searingly human, and so implacably apocalyptic. He is Melville + Poe +Borges but with a heart far more capacious. He seems to have leapt out of nowhere, massive, familiar, strange, and he never fails to blow my mind.”―Junot Díaz, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, from Bookforum
“Terrence Holt’s prose is deeply original, evocative, transforming. I have never seen anything quite like it before. Though what I’m praising is not words, nor is it narrative, but something that is a compound of language, story, feeling, and knowledge―and something else. Something beyond his learning as a physician, at once metaphysical and physical, mysterious and terrifying, but not indulgent. Even undecipherable. He is amazing.”―Gerald Stern, winner of the National Book Award for This Time
“Like the tales of Poe and Hawthorne, these stories are claustral, eerie, and entirely exhilarating.”―Michael Gorra, Smith College
“In The Valley of the Kings is a work of terrific intelligence and terrifying imagination.”―Aleksandar Hemon, finalist for the National Book Award for The Lazarus Project
“Rare wonderful stories, beautifully crafted and strangely surreal without being merely cerebral – a very fine first book.”―Peter Matthiessen , winner of the National Book Award for Shadow Country
Terrence Holt is a writer and an internist specializing in geriatric medicine, teaching and practicing at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill.
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