The Sweet-Scented Manuscript
Hilarious, brave, and tinged with the inescapable sorrow of death’s inevitability, The Sweet-Scented Manuscript is a portrait of youth itself.
The 1950s are coming to a close, and young Leland Pefley is off to university. He knows only two things about his future: first, that he, like James Dean, will die young and gloriously; second, that in the meantime he was not destined to live like anyone else. Navigating the pitfalls of conformism and debauchery, overcome by the despair and rapture of youthful love, and menaced continually by the need for gainful employment, Lee boldly strives to defend his integrity and to conquer the heart of the love of his life, the ravishing Judy.
The Sweet-Scented Manuscript is a gorgeous recounting of the romance, the fatalism, the rebelliousness, and the tragicomedy of the springtide of life, sharpened by all the spices of an intelligent young man’s lively revolt against the deadening mediocrity of his times.
Tito Perdue is, without question, one of the most important contemporary Southern writers we have—and should certainly be considered among the most important American writers of the early 21st century. This new novel of his is an absolute delight.— New York Press
This is one to be read slowly, relishing every sentence like a rich dessert wine... this is a magical love story, cute, visceral, and absorbing, with a caliginous dreamlike atmosphere, a charismatic voice, clever dialogue, and endearing characters so real that they almost feel like personal friends. Indeed, one is almost able to inhale the distinctive air of that time and place, almost a witness to events, rather than a reader from cynical postmodernity, half a century removed... the story is told in a terrifically amusing manner, and every page is a constellation of little gems... One is sad to reach the end.— Alex Kurtagic
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