David Joy biography

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David Joy
Photo: © Alan Rhew

David Joy

David Joy Biography

David Joy is the author of The Line That Held Us (winner of the 2018 SIBA Book Prize), The Weight of This World, and Where All Light Tends to Go (Edgar finalist for Best First Novel). His stories and creative nonfiction have appeared in a number of publications, and he is the author of the memoir Growing Gills: A Fly Fisherman's Journey and a co-editor for Gather at the River: Twenty-Five Authors on Fishing. Joy lives in Tuckasegee, North Carolina.

David Joy's website

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Interview

A Conversation with David Joy about When These Mountains Burn

In your fourth novel, When These Mountains Burn, you once again return to western North Carolina, which has become your literary terrain. What is this novel about?

I'm never good at answering this question and it's because I read, "What is this novel about," as a philosophical question when it's almost always a question of plot—What happens? What happens is that a father loses his son to an overdose and sets out to clean up his community when it becomes obvious law enforcement won't. In that way, it's a sort of Gran Torino look at the opioid crisis in Southern Appalachia told from the perspectives of the father, an addict, and the DEA. As far as what the book's about, though, the heart of it, I think it's a novel about cultural extinction. It's about what Maurice Manning called, "the gone and the going away."

Each of your books seems to hone in a particular timely issue. What drew you to write about the opioid crisis?

Heroin really started to take hold of the community where I live over the past five or six years. That's not to say that there wasn't a growing opioid problem before that, but it really became impossible to ignore more recently. You started seeing sharps containers put up in gas station bathrooms. ...

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Books by this Author

Books by David Joy at BookBrowse
When These Mountains Burn jacket The Weight of This World jacket
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Readalikes

All the books below are recommended as readalikes for David Joy but some maybe more relevant to you than others depending on which books by the author you have read and enjoyed. So look for the suggested read-alikes by title linked on the right.
How we choose readalikes

  • Greg Iles

    Greg Iles

    Greg Iles was born in Germany in 1960, where his father ran the US Embassy Medical Clinic during the height of the Cold War. Iles spent his youth in Natchez, Mississippi, and graduated from the University of Mississippi in ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    When These Mountains Burn

    Try:
    Natchez Burning
    by Greg Iles

  • Cormac McCarthy

    Cormac McCarthy

    Cormac McCarthy was born in Rhode Island. He attended the University of Tennessee in the early 1950s, and joined the U.S. Air Force, serving four years, two of them stationed in Alaska. McCarthy then returned to the ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    When These Mountains Burn

    Try:
    No Country For Old Men
    by Cormac McCarthy

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