How A Childhood Fear Of The Rapture Led To Josiah Hesse’s New Book, ‘Carnality’
Colorado Public Radio 7/15/15
A fear of the Rapture tormented Josiah Hesse as a kid growing up in an Evangelical home in Iowa, but he left that world behind when he was 22, bounced from city to city and eventually wound up in Denver. Now Hesse — a CPR News contributor — draws on his past in a new novel, “Carnality: Dancing on Red Lake.” He tells Colorado Matters host Ryan Warner the book is part of what the author hopes will be a six-part series.
Q&A: Josiah Hesse on his debut novel and how hippies created modern evangelicals
In his debut novel Carnality: Dancing on Red Lake, local author and Westword contributor Josiah Hesse delves into the weird world of the evangelical movement. The first in a planned series of six books that trace the history of the movement in America, Carnality lays the groundwork for this ambitious task. At the center of the story is Jacob Sloan, a tortured man who was once the evangelical movement’s child star but who’s now retreated from society altogether. Through Sloan’s life, Hesse illuminates the strange threads that connect the Haight-Ashbury scene with the Moral Majority. Before his appearance Friday at the Denver Public Library to read from the book and offer concrete examples of his hippie-to-fundie thesis, we caught up with Hesse to talk about the book, the history of evangelicals in America and how hippies and Jesus freaks are actually bizarrely similar.
Colorado Independent 5/29/15
Josiah Hesse’s first novel Carnality: Dancing on Red Lake is terrifying. Mixing childhood nostalgia, nightmarish surrealism, hallucinatory anxiety and pop and evangelical cultural history, this coming-of-age story pulls readers through three generations of religious abuse, mental illness and drug addiction.
The author, who will be reading from his novel tonight in Denver at Syntax Psychic Opera, was raised in Iowa, where he grew up in an evangelical family obsessed with demonic possession, the impending return of Christ and apocalyptic iconography.