Based loosely on a tragic real-life incident in 2014, One Kind Favor explores the consequences of the lynching of a young black man in rural North Carolina. After the lynching of Lincoln Lennox is discovered and subsequently covered up in the small fictional community of Cord, North Carolina, the ghosts who frequent the all-in-one bar and consignment shop take on the responsibility of unearthing the truth and acting as the memory for the town that longs to forget and continues to hate. A reimagined Kathy Acker, the groundbreaking literary icon, engages Lincoln in a love triangle and brings a transgressive post-punk esthetic to the mission. The down-the-rabbit-hole satirical storytelling of One Kind Favor, Kevin McIlvoy’s sixth novel, echoes Appalachian ghost stories in which haunting presences will, at last, have their way.
Kevin McIlvoy has published five novels, A Waltz (Lynx House Press), The Fifth Station (Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill; paperback, Collier/Macmillan), Little Peg (Atheneum/Macmillan; paperback, Harper Perennial), Hyssop (TriQuarterly Books; paperback, Avon), At the Gate of All Wonder (Tupelo Press); a short story collection, The Complete History of New Mexico (Graywolf Press); and a collection of prose poems and short-short stories, 57 Octaves Below Middle C (Four Way Books). His fiction has appeared in Harper’s, Southern Review, Ploughshares, Missouri Review, and other literary magazines. He has taught fiction at Warren Wilson College and New Mexico State University and received a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in fiction. For twenty-seven years, McIlvoy worked as fiction editor and editor in chief of the literary magazine, Puerto del Sol. He lives in Asheville, NC, plays blues harmonica, takes ballroom dancing classes with his wife, and has been a serious gardener for four decades.