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      William Saroyan International Prize for Writing

Peter Neofotis

Concord, Virginia

Peter Neofotis

About the Author

Peter Neofotis is the author of Concord, Virginia - a story of a town revealed through interwoven short stories that he also performs theatrically. Having begun in a small black box in New York’s Bowery called Dixon Place, since the publication of his book he has given shows at the Theater at Lime Kiln in Virginia, the Greenbrier Valley Theater in WV, the Goethe Institute in DC, the Gremlin Theater in St. Paul, the North Carolina Stage Company in Asheville, NC, and The Hudson River Opera House in Hudson, New York.  Most recently, he was the featured performer at the Theater of the American South festival (May 10-31st, 2010) in North Carolina.

About the Book

Concord, Virginia is the story of a town told through the history of its eccentric characters. The tales include that of a hunter who, after accidentally killing his wife, finds hundreds of vultures in his yard; an albino woman who hears the ghosts of America’s past in the songs of birds; and a moonshinning old lady who ruthlessly defends her river property from real estate developers. In the tales, community and filial bonds come to odds with taboos, religion, and human laws – and the characters must choose by which system of ethics they will live.

Critics / Reviews

“The Southern Gothic genre is marvelously reincarnated in these beguiling stories penned and performed by Peter Neofotis... Eerily magnificent.”
— John Townsend, The Star Tribune

“Peter Neofotis' collection of short stories, ‘Concord, Virginia’  is by turns whimsical, Gothic, savage, hilarious and poetic — Southern storytelling at its grotesque best.”
— Mae Woods Bell, The Rocky Mount Telegram

“This collection has heart, darkened by history, washed in the river and beating still.”
— Dana Staves, The Virginian Pilot

Concord, Virginia’ bristles with dark doings -- sometimes hilarious, sometimes gruesome. The genre could be called supernatural realism, or neo-Southern gothic. The telling draws on natural science, Greek tragedy (a black man chained by the Klan to the Natural Bridge, attacked by vultures, comforted by a mockingbird, is Prometheus Bound), American Indian folklore, gay history, Thomas Jefferson's life, local politics and other serious readings.
This choiring of voices is a remarkable accomplishment for a young man who, like a songstress in the book who moves to Manhattan, had a song brewing within him about community but didn't know how to release it. He has released it, and it is worth giving yourself over to his imaginative leaps to experience this work as one might a weirdly familiar dream.”
— Doug Cumming, The Roanoke Times

“Each of the 11 stories is worthy of attention... Neofotis shows a keen sensitivity to nature. That is part of what gives his writing such a strong sense of place. At the same time, a powerful strain of mysticism informs his work. His stories are closer in spirit to Ray Bradbury than William Faulkner. He is an adept wordsmith who evokes his setting in both a physical and emotional sense. As he says in his prologue, Concord, Va., is one of those rare and special places that birth stories and folklore.”
— Greg  Langley, The Baton Rouge Advocate

Peter Neofotis carefully weaves together a fictional patchwork of voices, characters and history of a close-knit bygone Southern town torn between tradition and modernity. Drawn from his experiences growing up in the South, Concord, Virginia is a strong debut for Neofotis, who previously received acclaim for sharing these stories in an off-Broadway one-man show (a "panegyric performance" as he describes it). Equally Gothic, haunting, humorous, touching: each short story is captivating enough to stand on its own, but strengthened by interwoven story lines and themes from its companions.
The Edge

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