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Jon Clinch: Kings of the Earth

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Date and time
Monday, July 12, 2010

Jon Clinch, author of the prize-winning debut novel *Finn*, an original work drawn from Mark Twain that focused on Huckleberry Finn’s brutal father, discusses another imaginative work, *Kings of the Earth*. It’s a gripping and haunting story of life, death and family in rural America. Centered on three brothers, one of whom dies in his sleep, the surviving brothers are suspected of murder. Told in a chorus of distinctive voices that span a generation, the novel examines the bonds of family and blood, faith and suspicion that link not just the brothers but their community as well. Critics call it ”blunt and brutal yet beautifully told, a classic tale of family kinship twisted askew.” Clinch is a native of New York now living in Pennsylvania whose work has appeared in a number of literary magazines.

Born and raised in upstate New York, Jon Clinch has been an English teacher, a metalworker, a folksinger, an illustrator, a typeface designer, a house painter, a copywriter, and an advertising executive. After graduating from Syracuse University, he taught American Literature and Advanced Composition to high school students. Three years and a Pennsylvania Teacher of the Year Award later, he set aside teaching and took up advertising. His career took him from one agency to the next until he found himself creative director of a high-profile Philadelphia shop, at which point he abandoned big agencies and founded a small one instead with his wife, Wendy. They have one daughter, Emily, a science teacher. His short stories have appeared in the literary magazine *MSS*, where they were selected by the novelist John Gardner. (Gardner was the author of Grendel, the story of Beowulf)