God Says No


Saturday, 20 June, 7 pm

Thanks to the support of McSweeney's Journal/Publishing/Internet Tendency, Volta presents James Hannaham as he reads selections from his new novel God Says No. Jennifer Egan, author of Look at Me and The Keep, says that James Hannaham's God Says No introduces a groundbreaking new American voice: a writer of spectacular sentences who has trained his sights on a world that has hardly been touched by literary fiction. Topical and ambitious, disturbing and hilarious, God Says No is everything a person could ask of a first novel − and twice that much.

Jim Lewis, who wrote Why The Trees Love The Ax, sums up God Says No as "a book that was desperate to be written but well out of reach. And then James Hannaham came along and wrote it, with the kind of care, wit, sympathy and fury that the book deserved. Imagine Candide ... − okay, imagine Candide as a black man, a southerner, a Christian fundamentalist, middle-class, obese, married, a father, and utterly, even profoundly gay. If a comedy, in the classical sense, is a story then ends in a marriage, and a tragedy is a story that ends with a death, then what do you call a book that ends with a split and a resurrection? A truly daring first novel, and something to read."

Immediately following Hannaham's reading, Volta kicks off a month-long exhibition of art and photography from Uganda as part of Direct Development International's fundraising efforts to aid children in Uganda orphaned by HIV.