If I Had Two Wings: Stories

Randall Kenan (Author)


In Kenan's fictional territory of Tims Creek, North Carolina, an old man rages in his nursing home, a parson beats up an adulterer, a rich man is haunted by a hog, and an elderly woman turns unwitting miracle worker. A retired plumber travels to Manhattan, where Billy Idol sweeps him into his entourage. An architect who lost his famous lover to AIDS reconnects with a high-school fling. Howard Hughes seeks out the woman who once cooked him butter beans.

Shot through with humor and seasoned by inventiveness and maturity, Kenan riffs on appetites of all kinds, on the eerie persistence of history, and on unstoppable lovers and unexpected salvations. If I Had Two Wings is a rich chorus of voices and visions, dreams and prophecies, marked by physicality and spirit. Kenan's prose is nothing short of wondrous.

Product Details

$25.95  $23.87
W. W. Norton & Company
Publish Date
August 04, 2020
5.6 X 8.3 X 1.0 inches | 0.75 pounds

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About the Author

Randall Kenan (1963-2020) was the former chancellor of the Fellowship of Southern Writers and a professor of English and comparative literature at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. He lived in Hillsborough, North Carolina.


This is a riveting collection of stories with a vibrant cast of characters, both corporeal and fantastical, and a stunning sense of place. Stories--comic, tragic, and human; with themes of faith, fury, chicanery, miracles, and weather--swirl out from Down East North Carolina, touch down gently around the world and come home to the magnetic center of Tims Creek. It was a pleasure to live in this book.--Lydia Kiesling, author of "The Golden State"