Dripping with Southern gothic flavors, The Visibility of Things Long Submerged gazes at the holy and the obscene while plumbing gritty secrets of the human heart.
With swamps, alligators, revival tents, faith healers, sex, death, guilt, sin and snakes, Looney leads us through a dark landscape brimming with the miraculous and the peculiar alike. A man from a fire shows up on someone's doorstep, covered in ash and barely alive. One man’s actions make an entire town question its own violence. A healer is bitten in half by an alligator as a crowd looks on. Dripping with Southern gothic, The Visibility of Things Long Submerged gazes at the obscure and obscene.
Densely populated with characters that know intimately the trials of life and the restorative powers of love, these stories are filled with a deep longing for something beyond the restless disquiet.
“With sorrow and hilarity (Who among us wouldn’t spend a Sunday morning at The Church of Jesus Christ Our Lover?), Looney’s chorus of saints, preachers, sinners, doubters, organists and acrobats, the damned and the saved, the bombastic and the fragile, their bodies ‘lost in their own flesh,’ their wetness ‘a kind of weeping,’ calls at us from these pages for nothing but love, love not for the sake of the voices themselves but as the one and only savior of humankind. The prose is heart-stopping, and if the sexual revolution hadn’t already happened, this splendid book might suffice.”
— Abby Frucht, author of Maids and Fruit of the Month
“George Looney is a seismographer, an anthropologist, an excavator of hard truths. He has the spirit of a poet and the bravado of a born raconteur—his stories are lively, surprising, alternately whimsical and terrifying, anchored by the weight of his impeccably turned sentences. In these tales of faith healers and magicians, car crashes and questionable relics, he has captured the strange beauty of our world and the people we travel with, a perilous journey that he traces through the cracks in our hearts and the certainty of our bones, above ground and below.”
— Tina May Hall, author of The Snow Collectors and The Physics of Imaginary Objects
“George Looney cannot hide his gift for poetry within his prose, these stories humming with imagery, language, and above all else, Looney’s romantic heart. Whether it’s a fallen preacher, an alien abductee, or a mourning lover, the characters in The Visibility of Things Long Submerged carry Looney’s purity, passion, and soul. This is a lovely collection, an important work by an author who has found so much beauty in our world, in all the least likely of places.”
— Michael Czyzniejewski, author of The Amnesiac in the Maze and I Will Love You for the Rest of My Life: Breakup Stories
“With one foot in religion and the other in the sacrilegious, George Looney’s superb collection is a study of the damage inflicted on us and that we live through and drag along with us. Eloquent and painful, these are hymns to what it means to have human failings and fierce desires in a world where the supernatural is sometimes more real than the real.”
— Brian Evenson, author of The Glassy, Burning Floor of Hell and Altmann’s Tongue
Publication Date: 05/23/23