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Kevin McIlvoy

Born: Granite City, Illinois
Pen Name: None

Connection to Illinois: Went to University of Illinois

Biography: Kevin McIlvoy is a visiting Instructional Professor at Arizona State University.

  • National Endowment for the Arts fiction fellowship.

Primary Audience(s): Adult readers

Kevin McIlvoy on WorldCat :

Selected Titles

A waltz
ISBN: 0899240321 OCLC: 233931722

Lynx House Pr 1981

ISBN: 9781611873740 OCLC: 817771901

Untreed Reads Pub., [Place of publication not identified] : ©2012.

[Hyssop (his? ep) n. 1. A fragrant, blue-flowered plant (Hyssopus officianalus) of the mint family, used in folk medicine as a tonic, stimulant, etc. 2. A plant used in purifactory sprinkling rites by the ancient Hebrews] *** Red Greet, the narrator of Hyssop, is in jail again, as he has been often in his eighty-seven years. As he gives his jailer a dance lesson, Red begins to share with him his life story. Struggling to learn the simple steps, the jailer listens to Red?s outrageous, incredible, yet utterly convincing accounts of the miracles he has witnessed and sometimes participated in directly. Red?s stories center around several constants: his impoverished life as a guilelessly honest thief and grifter in Las Almas, New Mexico; his love for Recita Holguin; and, the miracle story dearest to him, his seventy-two-year friendship with Bishop Francisco Velasco. Frank and Red met in 1924 as Red?s mother, a healer, worked her folk magic to help Frank?s family survive violence and devastating turmoil. The boys immediately formed a deep and abiding bond. Frank, who becomes a Catholic priest and eventually a bishop, remains Red?s lifelong confessor because he is the keeper of Red?s secrets, and Red the keeper of his. The men are not only friends, but unlikely accomplices: they argue over Frank?s car, a Monte Carlo with cathedral windows airbrushed on the hood; they promenade, naked, through the middle of the Hatch Chile Festival; they work to restore a statue of the beloved Virgen de Guadalupe, which?miraculously? begins to perspire blood?blood that bears a suspicious likeness to red paint. Through it all, Red confesses his many sins to Frank, always returning to the mysteries of a sin he feels he cannot be absolved of: his courtship of Recita during his wife Cecila?s long illness. In telling how he has loved and been loved, in confessing how he has sinned and inspired others to sin, Red Greet seeks hyssop, the substance that might wash his soul clean. Hyssop is a stunning novel full of magic; it is an inquiry into the nature of religious faith and belief and into the power of moral dilemmas embedded in loving friendships and in spiritually rich but materially impoverished lives. Reading Hyssop, you will believe again in miracles of healing and in the haunting power of memories of the past. ***?Hyssop is a wonderful gift of faith to a cynical age. Only a book this smart, tough-minded, funny, beautiful and, yes, humble could burrow so deeply into both the doubting mind and the yearning heart.??Richard Russo, author of Straight Man?A radiant, mysterious novel, brilliantly lit by hard-won faith. Hyssop reminds us that we are all part of the last tribe of the unchosen: and that despite that we can be saved by the language of love.??Andrea Barrett, author of Ship Fever: Stories.

Hyssop :
ISBN: 0380732718 OCLC: 43443144

Bard, New York : [1999], ©1998.

An octogenarian recounts his life, including a triangle involving him, his wife and a priest. The climax comes as Red Greet of New Mexico watches the priest administer last rites to his dying wife. The look between them says it all, but there is a consolation, his rival is his best friend and a saintly man.

Little peg
ISBN: 9781611874297 OCLC: 828933602

Untreed Reads, [San Francisco] : ©2012.

Peg O'Crerieh is a wife, mother, creative writing instructor, and occasional resident of the Everview Residential Treatment Center, which she is once again preparing to leave. Awaiting Peg at home are her devoted family; the normal pressures of daily life; and, most important, the students in her Nontraditional English class, where the assignment is always to write about Peg. As Peg struggles to find her place in the outside world, she finds herself drawn into her students' stories. Usurping their material, revising their facts, Peg slowly inches toward the truth until she is finally able to leave the worst behind. By turns brilliantly comic and achingly sad, Little Peg is a portrait of a single woman, in extremis and in exultation, and of a life transformed by the retrospective powers of a gifted writer.

Little Peg /
ISBN: 0380814765 OCLC: 45087446

Perennial, New York : 2000.

The complete history of New Mexico :
ISBN: 1555974139 OCLC: 57443636

Graywolf Press, Saint Paul, Minn. : ©2005.

A collection of short stories blends state history with personal history--all complementing a novella which is told through the eyes of a boy writing a research paper entitled "The Complete History of New Mexico."

The complete history of New Mexico :
ISBN: 9781555970475 OCLC: 607480504

Graywolf Press, Saint Paul, Minn. : ©2005.

The fifth station
ISBN: 9781611874907 OCLC: 828935003

Untreed Reads, [San Francisco] : ©2012.

In The Fifth Station, Matthew, the youngest of three brothers, has died at nineteen, inside a foundry smokestack in Illinois. The surviving brothers take their grief and misfortune to the desert landscape of New Mexico. There, one brother indulges the family failing--alcoholism. The other settles for life on the bum. The two compelling narratives--one by each of the surviving brothers--describe the process of making new lives from the ashes of the old ones.

  The fifth station :
ISBN: 0020346220 OCLC: 19740634

Collier Books, New York : 1989, ©1988.