Release in 2022
The Gospel of Rot
(Mercer University Press)
At the age of seventy-one, the recluse Amelia finally leaves her home in the North Carolina mountains to find the world grown strange and almost deserted. In her quest to unravel the mysteries of this apocalyptic landscape, she encounters a neighbor turned into an apple tree, children trapped in mica, and her doppelgänger. Between these events, she reflects on the recent death of her immigrant father and the disastrous love affair with a woman that sent her into seclusion for half a century.
Eventually, Amelia meets up with the time-stranded and dying Sir Walter Scott, who becomes an unwilling companion. Together they navigate the dystopic local town and the living, breathing shadow of a mountain, searching for answers. At the novel’s end, Amelia grows to understand the origin of these mysteries when she meets a famous mother, who is nothing like the Gospels imagined her.
The Gospel of Rot’s delight in all manner of fruitfully phantasmagorical decay does indeed verge on the evangelical...This is a story of revelatory aftermath and the mystery of history, a story as only Gregory Ariail can tell it, a story that will forever change the way you dream.
Kellie Wells (Author of God, the Moon, and Other Megafauna)
I do not know from what seed Gregory Ariail grew his brilliant imagination, but if I could I would eat from its fruit and then ask for more. Written in a mixture of murmur and prayer, dust and dream, GOSPEL OF ROT is an essential field guide for the ghosts of Appalachia.
Sabrina Orah Mark (Author of Wild Milk and Happily)
I'm blown to smithereens with joy about this uncommonly rare and gorgeous work of art. When you read The Gospel of Rot, your heart and head and belly will glow like Chinese lanterns, and you'll be carried into the very air.
Reginald McKnight (Author of He Sleeps)
About Gregory Ariail
I grew up in Buford, Georgia. In 2019, I thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail. I've earned degrees from the University of Georgia, Oxford University, the University of Michigan, and recently completed my MFA at the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa. You might love cats as much as me, but you don't love them more.