LEXINGTON, Ky., Aug.6, 2021—Julyan Davis, a British-American artist living in Asheville, North Carolina, will publish his debut novel in fall 2021 with award-winning independent publisher Shadelandhouse Modern Press, of Lexington, Kentucky. Titled A History of Saints, the novel is a playful satire of the Great Recession and tells the story of Frank Reed who, to keep from losing his home—the “stately” Carolina Court—becomes a reluctant landlord to a houseful of eccentrics and misfits.

Davis is not only the author of A History of Saints but also the cover artist and book illustrator. For more than thirty years Davis has painted the vanishing architecture of the South.

“Hopefully, solace to anyone grieving what we lose to gentrification, A History of Saints and its cast of well-intentioned but feuding characters, is also meant as a comedic reminder of when our lives felt harder—yet were somehow richer,” Davis observes. “The setting ties into the literary history of Asheville and Thomas Wolfe’s Look Homeward, Angel.”

“We were first introduced to Julyan Davis through his large-scale narrative paintings, ‘Dark Corners: The Appalachian Murder Ballads,’ and for the last several years we have continued to follow Julyan’s work and his collaborations with musicians, historians, and writers,” notes Publisher Virginia Underwood, of Shadelandhouse Modern Press. “Julyan mentioned to me in a light conversation that he was working on a contemporary comedic novel with an 18th-century feel—a picaresque look at Southern eccentricity, set in Asheville, North Carolina. When I read the draft manuscript, his gifts for swift pacing, playful dialogue, humor, satire, and use of language were evident from the first page, and his British voice distinguished his writing among contemporary American comedic novelists. I fell in love with the story, the characters, and the wit. Julyan’s illustrations are a bonus! We are thrilled and honored to be publishing A History of Saints, an homage to, and sometimes a parody of, several great novels—Cyrano de Bergerac, Tristram Shandy, but most particularly, Don Quixote—and a brilliant addition to contemporary humorist fiction.”

Cover art: Julyan Davis

A History of Saints is now available for preorder at https://smpbooks.com/product/a-history-of-saints/

Julyan Davis

Photo credit: Clark Hodgin

Julyan Davis is a British-American artist living in Asheville, North Carolina. For more than thirty years he has painted the vanishing architecture of the South. Collaborating with musicians, historians, and writers, his traveling museum exhibits chronicle the folklore and lost histories of the region. His work can be found online at https://julyandavis.com and on Instagram at @julyandavis. Davis’s work is represented by galleries in Asheville and in Charleston, South Carolina, and in museum collections across the South. A History of Saintsis his debut novel.

Shadelandhouse Modern Press, LLC is a Lexington, Kentucky-based, women-owned, and family-operated independent book publishing company dedicated to publishing authentic and compelling fiction and nonfiction for readers of all ages. It is committed to the advancement of established and emerging writers—primarily focused on writers living in or writing about the Southeast region of the United States—to excellence in publishing, and to the production of high-quality, entertaining, and artistic books. The press debuted in 2016–2017 with two award-winning legal nonfiction (history and true crime) books and has since published award-winning fiction, poetry, and children’s books. Shadelandhouse Modern Press is a member of the Independent Book Publishers Association and an associate member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. For more information, visit our website at https://smpbooks.com and follow us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/shadelandhouse and on Instagram at @shadelandhouse_modern_press.

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Contact: Virginia H. Underwood, Publisher, Shadelandhouse Modern Press

859.576.1030 | [email protected]