Christopher Hebert will join the UTK Department of English Faculty as an Assistant Professor beginning in the Fall of 2016. Professor Michael Knight describes the department’s excitement:
This English department and the Creative Writing Program are thrilled to be adding Chris Hebert to the faculty this fall. Chris has proven himself to be a dedicated teacher and he distinguished himself during the hiring process with his thoughtful presentation and his innovative approaches to classroom practices for students at all levels. After serving as the Jack E. Reese Writer-in-Residence for five years, he knows our program well and should be able to step right into the position without a hitch. This is not to mention that his second novel, Angels of Detroit, is coming out this summer and already getting outstanding notices. That’s no surprise. Angels of Detroit is a sweeping dazzle of a book that manages to remain human and intimate despite its grand scale and ensemble cast. We’re lucky to have such a big talent joining our ranks.
Hebert‘s recently celebrated the release of his second novel, Angels of Detroit, at a reading and reception at Union Ave Books in Knoxville.
In razor-sharp, beguiling prose, Angels of Detroit draws us into the lives of multiple characters struggling to define their futures in this desolate landscape: a scrappy group of activists trying to save the city with placards and protests; a curious child who knows the blighted city as her own personal playground; an elderly great-grandmother eking out a community garden in an oil-soaked patch of dirt; a carpenter with an explosive idea of how to give the city a new start; a confused idealist who has stumbled into debt to a human trafficker; a weary corporate executive who believes she is doing right by the city she remembers at its prime-each of their desires is distinct, and their visions for a better city are on a collision course.
In this propulsive, masterfully plotted epic, an urban wasteland whose history is plagued with riots and unrest is reimagined as an ambiguous new frontier-a site of tenacity and possible hope. Driven by struggle and suspense, and shot through with a startling empathy, Christopher Hebert’s magnificent second novel unspools an American story for our time.
Hebert’s first novel, The Boiling Season, was published by Harper Collins in 2012.