The Maggot People (novel)

Notes on my novel “The Maggot People”

Available from November 11, 2014

9781936873548 (509x800)

About five years ago while walking along a cliff top in Sardinia, I saw a snake moving in the long grass. It took a while before I realized it was dead. Its writhing and the abrupt expansion and contraction of its body, which I had first taken as a warning not to come closer, were actually caused by the compressed motion of maggots within its digestive tract. I bent closer to look some more. I stood there admiring the snake’s eyes, punctured and black and dead.

In that instant an idea occurred to me: what if there were people as dead as this snake yet animated by maggots breeding inside their bodies, creating an artificially sustained consciousness? Eventually I used this as the raw material for my novel, which I’d describe as a critique of organized religion and a humorous dig at all those conspiracy theories and fantastical Vatican plots we know so well. And by this I guess you can infer that I set the story in Rome, in the fetid world of Church hierarchy. Don’t worry, it’s not Dan Brown!

What I enjoyed most about writing this book, I think, was the freedom to bring Jesus back to life and put him in a camper van with my two principal characters, driving around the countryside, listening to Bob Dylan, and reading magazines.

As I continued working, I realized there was no money left in the house, no hidden stashes, no gold watches going spare. It was the year of too much pasta and cheap wine so loaded with sulfites that the morning headaches were out of this world. And then one morning I put a final full stop on it…


“The Maggot People” was published in the US on 11 November, 2014 by Dzanc Books.
Click here for “Interview-In-Excerpts” from The Collagist.
Click here for review on Electric Literature by John Domini.
Click here for review in Full Stop Magazine by Eleanor Gold.
For press & review copies:
contact Gina Frangello, Dzanc Books.

4 Responses to “The Maggot People (novel)”

  1. Marcus Speh September 24, 2015 at 10:18 am #

    Waiting for the book now while I’m finishing “The Long Good-Bye” by Chandler.


  1. The Door Handle is Depressed – Ten Years Translating the Nordic Crime Wave | - January 5, 2015

    […] click here to read more about my novel “The Maggot People” published by Dzanc […]

  2. Oil May be Dropping, but Cappuccino is Doing Well | - January 21, 2015

    […] here to find out more about my recent novel “The Maggot […]

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