With the title "Seafood Jesus," how could you not want to read Julie Townsend's new novel?
This first novel from Townsend, who teaches writing at UNC Charlotte, centers onValgooney Gore, an animal rights activist who sails the ocean under cover of night to destroy crab traps, liberating the crabs therein. Rosemary Kennedy also makes an appearance, and in Townsend's fictional telling we learn that the late Kennedy daughter was lobotomized not because she was mentally disabled, but because she was gay.
Townsend, who graduated from South Mecklenburg High and UNCC, tells me that people have varied theories about that infamous lobotomy. She took that historical speculation and ran with it, creating a story that eventually links her characters. Personally, she believes Rosemary Kennedy was lobotomized for reasons other than mental retardation.
"Seafood Jesus," $11, is published by Charlotte's Main Street Rag.
Townsend will give a reading 11 a.m. May 21 at Park Road Books, 4139 Park Road.