The Skin Artist
GRITTY AND COMPELLING SOUTHERN FICTION
The morning Bill Becker awakes to find the butterfly tattoo bleeding on his chest, his upwardly mobile life begins its harrowing downward spiral. Exiled from a corporate career and from the failed marriage he left behind in a gated Charlotte community, Bill becomes obsessed with a tattooed dancer named Lucy, who is running from a trauma buried deep in her own past. Lucy and Bill wrap themselves in new skins of ink, wrought by the same artist, a “shaman” who convinces them that every design will alter their future. Ultimately, both Bill and Lucy must leave the city and return to the Carolina countryside to confront the skins they have shed many years ago.
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Written in a remarkable prose that veers between a gritty tale and moments that are almost poetry. George Hovis is a master word artist. I especially liked the relationship between the two brothers, and also the mystical tattoo artist who Bill keeps returning to in hope of some wisdom, redemption, or at least a little magic in the form of a tattoo.
– C.Z. Walker
The Skin Artist is the complex saga of a young man’s search for his own identity on the dark side of the New South–it’s hard to believe this is a first novel. Hovis has created an old-fashioned morality tale set against some of the most garish manifestations of the Sunbelt.
– Lee Smith, Author of Dimestore and Guests on Earth
I loved this book! It was full of complex, believable characters who I really cared about, with all their human flaws, questions, coping mechanisms, and redemptive qualities. And having grown up in NC, I can say that George Hovis captures the feeling and essence of that part of the South.