Shepherd, Paul 1964–
Shepherd, Paul 1964–
PERSONAL: Born 1964. Education: Florida State University, Ph.D.; University of North Carolina, Greensboro, M.F.A. Hobbies and other interests: Volunteering as a youth director at a Lutheran church.
ADDRESSES: Office—Department of English, Florida State University, 406 Williams Bldg., Tallahassee, FL 32306-1580. E-mail—[email protected]
CAREER: Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL, writer-in-residence; cofounder, House of Mercy (AIDS hospice); director of Rainbow Rehab (nonprofit construction organization).
AWARDS, HONORS: Mary McCarthy Prize, 2004, for More Like Not Running Away; Kingsbury fellowship, Florida State University.
More Like Not Running Away (novel), Sarabande Books (Louisville, KY), 2005.
Also author of a book of poetry; contributor to periodicals, including Prairie Schooner, Crazyhorse, Omni, Fiction, St. Anthony Messenger, Beloit Fiction Journal, William and Mary Review, and Folio; former senior editor of International Quarterly.
SIDELIGHTS: Paul Shepherd has been affiliated with a number of nonprofits, including an AIDS hospice and Rainbow Rehab, a construction company that renovates homes for low-income families. His resulting familiarity with troubled families helped him to write his debut novel, More Like Not Running Away. It is a story about fathers and sons, in this case about Levi Revel who is an adolescent when his father, Everest, leaves the army with an honorable discharge. Everest's departure from the military might have been instigated by his violent behavior, however. A talented carpenter, Everest enlists Levi's help in building a house, but when he runs into financial difficulties he takes his family and flees to Florida to begin again. His wife, Nora, leaves and puts their daughter, Carson, in the care of her grandparents in Michigan. Levi is now alone with his increasingly volatile father, whom he sometimes confuses with a higher power. The novel concludes with Everest taking Levi on a cross-country trip to Seattle to find Nora. In reviewing the novel for Booklist, Michael Cart described it as "extraordinary" and wrote that it "packs such emotional power that reading it is like sustaining repeated blows to the heart."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, Michael Cart, review of More Like Not Running Away, p. 37.
Publishers Weekly, September 12, 2005, review of More Like Not Running Away, p. 39.
Florida State University Creative Writing Program Web site, http://english.fsu.edu/ (November 17, 2005), profile of Paul Shepherd.