Novelist Kornegay embarking on multi-state booksigning tour

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Novelist Kornegay embarking on multi-state booksigning tour

By John Howell
When the reader first meets Jay, the main character in Jamie Kornegay’s debut novel, Soil, released today by Simon and Schuster, he has fast plunged from his role as a young father and family man into an apocalyptic, survivalist paranoia that entertains as it weaves its web of deception and missteps through the rest of the story.

From his farm next to the Tockawah River, where an unusual summertime flood has wrecked Jay’s dreams of developing a farm that would allow self-sufficiency and a measure of insulation from the civilization that Jay sees imploding around him, Kornegay leads his reader into Jay’s reasoning. By the time Jay decides that rather than notifying authorities he will just dispose of a putrefying body left on his land by the retreating flood waters, the reader is ready to go along.
Against the backdrop of Jay’s obsession with eliminating all traces of the body, the reader meets the complement of supporting characters: Jay’s wife, Sandy, and their son, Jacob, who have moved to town as Jay’s finances plunged and erratic behavior increased; testosterone-heavy Deputy Sheriff Shoals who becomes obsessed when he senses vulnerability in the separated Sandy.

Then there’s Leavenger, a crippled, backwoodsman whose dog Jay kills, triggering a counterplot of revenge.

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Jamie Kornegay grew up in Batesville, of course. He’s the son of Gary Kornegay and Andrea Kornegay and a 1993 South Panola graduate. His long-awaited debut novel releases today with a book signing from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the independent bookstore he owns in Greenwood, Turnrow Books.

Tomorrow, Wednesday, March 11, he travels to Oxford to Square Books, from 5 to 6 p.m. “Homecoming at the store where I got my start,” Kornegay states on his web site,,

From there, Kornegay begins a promotion tour that will take him to independent book stores and literary events throughout the southeast. By the time Kornegay arrives for the final stop on May 5 in Houston, he will have made 23 appearances in nine states.

Two of those dates involve additional appearances near Batesville. On March 18, he will sign books at the Bookseller at Laurelwood in Memphis from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.

On April 4, he returns to Oxford’s Thacker Mountain Radio, from 6 to 7 p.m. at Off Square Books.

“How cool will it be to go back to the radio show I once produced and appear as ‘the talent?’” he asks.