Jon Padgett is a professional – though lapsed – ventriloquist who lives in New Orleans with his spouse, their daughter, and two cats. Padgett is a senior editor of Vastarien, a source of critical study and creative response to the corpus of Thomas Ligotti. He has work out or forthcoming in Pseudopod, Lovecraft eZine, Xnoybis, Antenna::Signals, and The Junk Merchants: A Literary Salute to William S. Burroughs.
1:30 p.m. to 2:15 p.m.
State Capitol Building, Senate Committee Room E
Salvation and Transcendence in Horror Fiction
2:30 p.m. to 3:15 p.m.
Barnes & Noble Bookselling Tent
The Secret of Ventriloquism: A Collection of Short Stories
Jon Padgett's The Secret of Ventriloquism, named the Best Fiction Book of 2016 by Rue Morgue Magazine and Winner of the 2016 Golden Ghoul Award for Fiction (Foreign), heralds the arrival of a significant new literary talent. With themes reminiscent of Shirley Jackson, Thomas Ligotti, and Bruno Schulz, but with a strikingly unique vision, Padgett's work explores the mystery of human suffering, the agony of personal existence, and the ghastly means by which someone might achieve salvation from both. A bullied child seeks vengeance within a bed's hollow box spring. A lucid dreamer is haunted by an impossible house. A dummy reveals its own anatomy in 20 simple steps. A stuttering librarian holds the key to a mill town's unspeakable secrets. A commuter's worldview is shattered by two words printed on a cardboard sign. An aspiring ventriloquist spends a little too much time looking at himself in a mirror. And a presence speaks through them all.
Book-loving volunteers are essential to the Louisiana Book Festival's success. Whether it's escorting authors, guiding visitors, selling refreshments, working with children in the Young Readers Pavilion or other fun and rewarding assignments, the Louisiana Book Festival wants you to join the volunteer team.