“Cornbread Voodoo” blurs the lines: First Novel by William Matthew McCarter released

April 05, 2005   Entertainment News
(PRLEAP.COM) In “Cornbread Voodoo,” the first novel by William Matthew McCarter, the author strives to present his experiences growing up poor, but proud, in the foothills of southeast Missouri without “telling the whole truth.”

According to McCarter, to tell the whole truth in a memoir would be insanely boring. This is because, McCarter says, “nothing remarkable happens at the dinner table every night.”

McCarter hoped to blur the lines between fiction and creative nonfiction. McCarter said, “It’s not whether or not it is true that matters. What matters is the possibility of it being true.”

But, what does happen in his novel? The main character, Billy, gets into the sort of trouble that all adolescents do. But, his grandmother (Gram) discovers his antics through her “cornbread voodoo.”

McCarter explains, “We all have a family member like my Gram who knows what you do via some sort of magic.”

In this novel, the author chronicles the idyllic rural community of the fictional Mina Sauk County. McCarter’s literary influence is Faulkner, who invented Yoknapatawpha County.

“I wanted to invent a place that captured the feeling of any rural town,” McCarter said.

And yet, there are also scenes that show how off-kilter Mina Sauk can be. In one part of the novel, a kid throws a dead cat on a Ford pinto. In another, a local drives through the middle of the town on a lawnmower.

“I didn’t want to satirize life in my hometown,” McCarter said, “But you do have the eccentrics.”

“Cornbread Voodoo” is a coming of age story set in the early 1980s. It shows the everyday experiences of Billy, like “scoring tongue at the skating rink.” It also shows the growing pains that Billy experiences, such as dealing with the illness of his grandfather, “Big Daddy.”

Information about this novel, including ordering and publishing information, can be found at http://www.cornbreadvoodoo.com