James Tate Hill was guest host of #LitChat at 4 p.m. E.T. on July 11, 2016. Read the chatscript of James’s #LitChat session here.
Hardboiled noir meets academic satire in James Tate Hill’s debut novel, Academy Gothic. Tate Cowlishaw is late for another faculty meeting when he discovers the body of Scoot Simkins, dean of Parshall College. Cowlishaw might be legally blind but sees that a man with three bullets in his head didn’t put them there himself. The police disagree.
When Cowlishaw investigates, he is told his teaching contract won’t be renewed. Suspects aren’t hard to come by at the college annually ranked Worst Value by U.S. News & World Report. While the faculty brace for a visit from the accreditation board, Cowlishaw’s investigation leads him to another colleague on eternal sabbatical. Before long, his efforts to save his job become efforts to stay alive. A farcical tale of incompetence and corruption, Academy Gothic scathingly redefines higher education as it chronicles the last days of a dying college.
James Tate Hill serves as fiction and reviews Editor for the literary journal Monkeybicycle, an imprint of Dzanc Books. Academy Gothic wonthe 2014 Nilsen Prize for a First Novel. His fiction has appeared in Story Quarterly, Sonora Review, The South Carolina Review, The Laurel Review, The Texas Review, and elsewhere. He holds an M.A. in Creative Writing from Hollins University and an M.F.A. from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where he served as fiction editor of The Greensboro Review. A native of Charleston, West Virginia, he is a graduate of West Virginia Wesleyan College and West Virginia University. Currently he lives in Greensboro with his wife, Lori.
Follow James Tate Hill on Twitter: @JamesTateHill.