John Englehardt’s novel Bloomland (Dzanc) opens during finals week at a fictional southern university, when a student walks into the library with his roommate’s semi-automatic rifle and opens fire. When he stops shooting, twelve people are dead. As the community wrestles with the fallout, Bloomland interrogates social and cultural dysfunction in a nation where mass violence has become all too familiar.
"Englehardt's brilliant and insanely brave debut is a culturally diagnostic achievement in the same way that Don DeLillo's White Noise and Libra are culturally diagnostic achievements; his sentences are brutal and unflinching and yet mystically humane in the spirit of Denis Johnson's Angels; and his America is at once beautiful and love-swirled and a kaleidoscopic wreck--a land whose cultural geology mirrors its physical one, routinely generating the "mindless malignancy" of town-wrecking tornadoes and desperate young men with guns." --Kirkus.
John Englehardt currently teaches writing classes at Hugo House.