Nominated for the 2017 Library of Virginia Literary Award for Fiction
An impressive debut novel from an extremely accomplished writer... Lightly is a remarkable creation - self-centered, deluded and utterly compelling.
-JEM POSTER, Sunday Times Oxford Literary Festival Director, Cambridge Creative Writing Summer Program Director & author of RIFLING PARADISE
The writing burns with rapturous energy...Lightly is a compelling conundrum, and it's impossible not to get drawn into his orbit.
-TYLER KEEVIL, recipient of the McClelland & Stewart Journey Prize, the Wales Book of the Year People’s Prize & author of FIREBALL
ALL THINGS AWAIT
a novel of college, remote beaches & quantum physics
PRESS & PUBLICATIONS
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Clabough is a VA and NC -based writer with work appearing in places like Blackbird, Smokelong Quarterly, Barely South, Magma Poetry, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Litro Magazine, New Writing, Women’s Studies, the Journal of Undergraduate Neuroscience Education, alongside Pulitzer Prize-winner Anthony Doerr (Hearing Voices -Kingston University Press) and in numerous journals and magazines.
His work has been selected for Ploughshares Blog's national "Best Short Story of the Week" column and editor-nominated for the Luminaire Award for Best Prose, story South's "Million Writer Award," the Queen's Ferry Press Award, and Smokelong's Editor's Selection. He has a MA from USC and a PhD in English from Aberystwyth University where he won the LBA Fiction Prize.
He serves as the Executive Director of the Higgins Academic Center, Director of the Communication Center, and an English professor at Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, Virginia.
HOW LONG DID YOU SPEND IN COSTA RICA & HOW DID THAT SHAPE THE NOVEL?
I spent over three months living on the remote peninsula in Costa Rica where the second half of ALL THINGS AWAIT takes place. The rustic cafés I wrote in were full of interesting travelers and the swells were terrific, but it's also true that I went totally deaf from surfer's ear and at one point found myself fighting off two burglars with a garden hoe. Whether good or bad, these experiences and others built for me—through a long accumulation—an increasingly detailed picture of Santa Teresa that I think is authentically reflected in the novel. I didn't just write it. I lived it.
WHAT SURPRISED YOU MOST ABOUT THE PROCESS OF WRITING THE NOVEL?
It's likely that most readers are familiar with that phenomenon of being so into a book that they go through a handful of chapters without any memory of turning a single page. John Gardner went so far as to claim this should be the writer's goal—to create for the reader a "vivid continuous dream." What’s surprising to me is how this can happen during the act of writing, too.
I remember writing the second half of ALL THINGS AWAIT at Burger Rancho in Santa Teresa, where I'd work three to four hours straight, produce quite a few typed pages, and yet have no memory of having touched the laptop keys at all. I suppose I was lost in the act of envisioning the story and in hearing the voice of the narrator who was helping me tell it. This obliviousness was really saying something, too, because Burger Rancho—a charmingly rundown, wall-less café shack on the main dirt road—frequently had a lively crowd, music or a small TV going, and even a semi-tamed raccoon that would shimmy down the palm tree that grew through the roof of the rustic kitchen to grab a snack and set off the slumbering stray dogs that lounged under the tables to escape the heat.
I think this is more-or-less why I often don't consider myself a writer and am not likely to do so in the future. The act is really more of a purposeful daydreaming—an imaginative play that just so happens to involve language. Whether or not there's a correlation between an author's penchant to lose himself in his writing and the likelihood that the reader will do so, as well, I can't say, but there is a pleasing symmetry to the idea that if authors want to create a "vivid continuous dream" for their readers, they must first work to experience that dream themselves.