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How the Sun Shines on Noise

UW-L Author: Matthew Deshe Cashion, M.F.A.
Copyright: 2004
Publisher: Livingston Press

Cashion, Matthew Deshe. How the Sun Shines on Noise. [Livingston, Ala.]: Livingston Press, University of West Alabama, 2004.

How the Sun Shines on Noise centers on the psychological journey of its anti-hero, Leo Gray, who leaves his job as a tollbooth attendant at the Charlotte airport (where he spent silent nights reading Marx, Rousseau, and Nietzsche) to take a job as a reporter for a south-Georgia newspaper. He spends the next two years trying to write a resignation letter. Despite his best intentions, he gets promoted to Business and Religion Editor, and he develops a personal relationship with Chamber of Commerce mascot Sandy the Sand Dollar. In a county promoted for its beaches, Gray lives in his mother’s duplex inside the shadow of the papermill, drinking too much beer with his 90 year-old neighbor. Once he’s finally fired, he finds work as a third-shift convenience store clerk, befriending working class characters whose somber stories would never make the newspaper. During these graveyard shifts, he achieves enough clarity to appreciate being fired from a normal job requiring normal hours, when the sun shines brightest on the greatest noise.

“…invites comparisons to John Kennedy Toole's A Confederacy of Dunces…an entertaining and memorable Southern picaresque…[a] humorous, bittersweet literary creation” (Charlotte Observer).

About the Author

Matthew Cashion was born in North Wilkesboro, North Carolina, grew up in Brunswick, Georgia, earned a Master of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing from the University of Oregon, and now teaches Creative Writing and Literature at the University of Wisconsin—La Crosse. His first novel, How the Sun Shines on Noise (Livingston Press) was a finalist in the William Faulkner-William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition. Recently, his short stories and poems have appeared in Passages North, The Sun, Willow Springs, Northwest Review, Fugue, and storySouth. His poem, "An Hour After Breakfast," appears in the 2009 Anthology The Mysterious Life of the Heart: Stories from The Sun about Passion, Longing, and Love. He is currently completing his second novel.

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