A Little Blood and Dancing
by Tyler Parker ’16
Published by Penguin Random House (2023)
Check out Sylvia Table: he drives a seafoam-green 1968 Ranchero, owns a badass sword, and is one dead uncle away from an inheritance that should set him and the love of his life, Lady Sixkiller, on the road to easy living and the family she’s always wanted. Sure, he may not be cut out for any kind of conventional job, but as long as Lady can hold things down as a waitress until rich old Methuselah shuffles off this mortal coil, what’s the big deal? Yes, things are looking good for Sylvia Table, aka Big Noise, aka Grandest Poobah, aka Big Quiche.
But uncles don’t always die on schedule, maternal clocks keep ticking with increasing urgency, doing crimes beats working for a living, and the past refuses to stay buried. In this case, the past takes the form of Priscilla Blackwood, a woman locked in an eternal one-sided conversation with Jesus Christ Himself, and dead set on enacting vengeance for the murder of her father, which she witnessed as a little girl. Whether Table knows it or not, he’s on a collision course with an avenging angel who believes she’s got the Lord on her side.
Combining the linguistic punch of Elmore Leonard, the living landscapes of Cormac McCarthy, and the comic soul of Charles Portis, A Little Blood and Dancing announces Tyler Parker as one of our most extraordinary new voices.