Propagandas, by Brad Crenshaw

Propagandas, by Brad Crenshaw

Description

Born in London in 1499, “a plague year,” John Elam is still alive today. Propagandas¬†tells his life story to date, as pieced together by Elam’s adopted son. A historical/anthropological/science fantasy told in blank verse, Brad Crenshaw’s story teeters from Sir Walter Raleigh’s letters from America (Elam is noted to have been rude to the queen) to bizarre genetic gardening experiments in early Tennessee (“brains fat as cabbages throbbing on their stems”) which incite a naively unexpected and viloent response from Elam’s neighbors. We edge towards Elam and his wife’s central secret, some engineered shift in metabolic temperament which permits their longevity, a state in which “infections never took, and even stab wounds, gashes, hewn arms, breached muscles and cloven limbs resealed themselves visibly, like zippers.”