Petrochemical Nocturne: A Novel by Amos Jasper Wright IV
Livingston Press, August 2023
The Mississippi River. HAZMAT. Boxing. Suicide by cop. New Orleans Saints football. Chemical explosions. The Angola Prison rodeo. Chlorine gas ghost ships. Through these symbols and themes, readers learn about Toussaint and his formative experiences in the Standard Heights neighborhood of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. “Petrochemical Nocturne” results in an indictment of what Toussasint describes as “that dystopian haunted carnival cruise line called America.” A discursive and often surreal exploration of environmental racism, southern history, the prison-industrial complex, police brutality, inter-generational trauma, and climate change, Petrochemical Nocturne is both paean and eulogy for the formerly enslaved communities of Cancer Alley, the erasure of an entire people from a poisoned landscape.
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