For the month of August we are revisiting some of our favorite content from the past year. Publication of new work will resume September 1.
Your name: Kent Wascom
Current city or town: Covington, Louisiana.
How long have you lived here? My parents grew up here: I drew my first breath across the lake in New Orleans and spent my first six years down the interstate in Slidell before spending the majority of my youth in Pensacola, Florida. So in many ways Covington and the area have existed for me as a sort of imaginative heritage for all my life. Boots on the ground, though, 1.4 years.
August Reads: Ask a Local: Kent Wascom, Covington, LA
Most of us who are over 20 can point to a few big events that set us on the road to adulthood. For the never-named narrator of M.O. Walsh’s debut novel, My Sunshine Away, it was the rape of his teen crush during her sophomore (his freshman) year of high school, Lindy Simpson. The narrator and Lindy have been neighbors since grade school, during which time he has harbored an innocent, but obsessive love for her. The search for the unseen rapist—who knocked her off her bike and forced her face into the ground—brings all the neighborhood oddballs into suspicion. It also brings the narrator closer to realizing his puppy-like fantasy. Unfortunately, he implicates himself in the process, in multiple ways. During this time, his divorced parents are still acting out their drama, and then his sister is killed in a car accident, leaving no adult—except a loveable but unstable uncle—with time or emotional bandwidth to spare for him as he lurches toward maturity.