UMass Dartmouth English Assistant Professor Lucas Mann's latest memoir Lord Fear, which details the author's relationship with his brother who died of a heroin overdose, has received end of the year book honors from both American book review magazine Kirkus Reviews and the Miami Herald.
The author’s older brother, Josh, died when Professor Mann was only thirteen years old. The book, which was published in hardcover May 2015, assembles the memories of Josh's life from interviews with friends and family, as well as from his own journals.
"The book is ultimately a story of addiction intertwining with a story of memory, and how impossible they both are to understand," Professor Mann said. “I'm interested in nonfiction that tries to bring a lot together in one place. Memories, interviews with others, source texts, outside literary sources -- they all come together to influence how we understand the world."
The title, Lord Fear, comes from a poem Josh wrote, one of many pieces of his writing that appear throughout the book. Josh's words mix with others' recollections, as well as scenes that Mann remembers and imagines.
The best of 2015 honors follows positive reviews from NPR, the Los Angeles Review of Books, The Providence Journal, the San Francisco Chronicle, Oprah.com, and the Chicago Tribune, in which Lord Fear was referred to as “a masterpiece.”
Lord Fear continues to receive tremendous praise:
"I know when I've found a good book when it slows me down, as Lucas Mann's Lord Fear did. It's also a good sign, I find, when the book is hard to describe, as Lord Fear is. On the surface, it's a memoir about Mann's enigmatic older brother, who died of a heroin overdose when Mann was thirteen. But it's more about memory, myth-making, and desire than its plot suggests...Mann is driving at how we know that unknowable thing--taking us right up to language's edge, where we watch him peer over." --The Paris Review (Staff Pick)
"I loved this book--an artifact of the making of memory. The prose is striking and emotional, and the excavation of the dead brother, the meaning of the life cut short, will resonate with many readers. Lord Fear is a psychological and artistic juggernaut." --Anthony Swofford, author of Jarhead
"Lord Fear is a hard book--as it should be, as its subject (a brother's fatal overdose) is hard; reconstructing the life and death of another is hard; families are hard; masculinity edging into misogyny is hard; addiction is hard; remembering is hard; grief is hard. Lucas Mann heads straight into these thickets armed with an uncommon emotional intelligence and the capacity to hold great mysteries, fears, horrors, and sorrows in taut, gripping sentences. This is a moving, frightening, expertly written book that stands at the nexus of imagination, encounter, document, and dirge." --Maggie Nelson, author of The Art of Cruelty
Professor Mann's first highly acclaimed book Class A: Baseball in the Middle of Everywhere, detailing the story of minor leaguers fighting for a shot in the big leagues and the small town who roots for them, received notable praise including earning a Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers selection.
Professor Mann teaches classes in creative writing, journalism, and professional writing. He earned his M.F.A. from the University of Iowa, where he was an Arts Fellow and a Provost's Visiting Writer in Nonfiction. His essays and stories have appeared in Gawker, Wigleaf, The Kenyon Review, TriQuarterly, The Nation and The Rumpus, among others, and he has received the Columbia Journal Award for creative nonfiction.