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“Sacred to the Memory of Elvis,” proclaims a homely, front porch memorial in a shabby neighborhood. Even years after his death, Joyce Jackson keeps the Christmas lights twinkling, and the flowers fresh. She keeps the faith as she builds a life for her two daughters, Priscilla and Lisa Marie. Joyce’s benevolence is inspired by Elvis, but her vision is entirely her own. Her generosity of spirit resonates among a cast of memorable characters: holy rollers, rock and rollers, cops and robbers, refugees and social workers-one of whom inadvertently reawakens Joyce’s old nemesis, Marge.
Marge Mason believes that Joyce is a welfare cheat with bad taste in men and music and too much spunk for a woman on public assistance. In this contest Joyce will need every bit of her strength and spiritual largesse.
Rippling with rhythm and the blues, Graced Land celebrates the power of music and love connecting the iconic King with a struggling single mother.
About the Author
Laura Kalpakian is the internationally published author of twenty works of fiction and many short stories. Her most recent novel, The Great Pretenders (2019), is a tale of the blacklist era in Hollywood. Memory Into Memoir: a Handbook for Writers (nonfiction) appeared in 2021 published by University of New Mexico Press. American Cookery was nominated for the 2007 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, and she has been awarded an NEA Literature Fellowship and twice the Pacific Northwest Booksellers’ Award, as well as a Pen West Award, a Pushcart Prize and the Anahid Award for an American writer of Armenian descent. She has taught fiction, memoir and literature as a visiting writer. Educated on both the east and west coasts, she has a bachelor’s and master’s degree in history. She can be reached via her website, laurakalpakian.com, Facebook and Twitter.