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About the Author: Preston L. Allen

Preston L. Allen is the author of the new novel, EVERY BOY SHOULD HAVE A MAN (Akashic 2013)

Preston L. Allen, a graduate of the University of Florida (BA '87) and Florida International University (MFA '94), is a recipient of a State of Florida Individual Artist Fellowship and a recipient of the Sonja H. Stone Prize in Fiction. His work has been published in the Seattle Review and the Crab Orchard Review and has been anthologized in Las Vegas Noir, Miami Noir, Brown Sugar, Making the Hook-Up, and Here We Are: a Collection of South Florida Writers. His short story collection CHURCHBOYS AND OTHER SINNERS (Carolina Wren Press 2003) is the winner of the Sonja H. Stone Prize in Fiction, and his novels ALL OR NOTHING and JESUS BOY have received rave reviews from the New York Times Book Review, Publisher's Weekly, Library Journal, The Kirkus Review, Florida Book Review, The Feminist Review, and Foreword Magazine. He teaches creative writing in Miami, Florida. You can find him on Facebook or on his blog, email:

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Goodreads rating: 3.46

Paperback, Published in Apr 2010 by Akashic Books

ISBN10: 1936070049 | ISBN13: 9781936070046

Page count: 364

“Like Dostoyevsky, Allen colorfully evokes the gambling milieu—the chained (mis)fortunes of the players, their vanities and grotesqueries, their quasi-philosophical ruminations on chance. Like Burroughs, he is a dispassionate chronicler of the addict’s daily ritual, neither glorifying nor vilifying the matter at hand.”—The New York Times Book Review, on All or Nothing

Into an austere community of Christian believers at the Church of Our Blessed Redeemer Who Walked Upon the Waters come the star-crossed African American Romeo and Juliet. In the world of Jesus Boy, Romeo is sixteen-year-old Elwyn Parker, a devout and sincere piano prodigy who learns too late that the saintly girl he has had a crush on all his life is inexplicably pregnant and soon to be wed. Juliet is the beautiful widow, Sister Morrisohn, age forty-two, who, in the pain and confused emotions of her grieving, ends up in Elwyn’s arms.

Despite the problems posed by their age difference and the strict prohibitions of their strong religious beliefs, Elwyn and Sister Morrisohn’s love is true, and as it grows among the ascetics, abstainers, and holy ghost rollers of their church, it exposes with wit, poignancy, and insight the dark secrets and ancient crimes of the pious. In Jesus Boy, Elwyn learns through tragedy and epiphany that the holy are no different from the rest of us.

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