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Rotting Man Goes to Town-bookcover

By: Shawn Irvin Manning

Rotting Man Goes to Town

Pages: 414 Ratings:
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Rotting Man Goes to Town deals with an adult relationship; which is in deep trauma from the outset of the story. Its technique is predominately dual narration, going from him to her vantage points. There are two sides to every story. Some of the language is hard-hitting, with angry scenes or mindsets, including some swearing. Political incorrectness exists in parts. The emotions are raw. It is a compelling and authentic read. It begins badly. How will it end?

The initial setting is in America, with flashbacks to Britain, meant to counter the: hurt, sadness and anger, by the use of the device of injecting past comedic episodes. Levity and tragedy are seen in animal antics. Thus, the humorous scenes are meant to bring a balance to the novel overall.

With the exception of the animals’ names, which remain true, all human names have been changed.

Shawn Irvin Manning was born in 1952 in an old military outpost, Fort Sill, Oklahoma, USA. She was the eldest of six (later seven) siblings. The novel, When Fairies Danced is a semi-autobiographical manuscript which charts her earliest years, but primarily from the ages of six to nine.

Manning obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Ceramics from the University of Dallas in Irving, Texas, which she worked towards for ten years during and after the births of four of her sons. She lived in Texas for twenty years before moving to Britain in 1989.

Her master’s degree was in Visual Culture from what is now Bath Spa University. During this period in the 1990s she conducted interviews with popular ceramic artists which were published in various journals. Though she interviewed a number of international ceramicists, the principal focus of her research was ‘The Female Body in Clay Form’. Her interest was in the dichotomy between high art and craft methodology. She gave lectures and visual presentations of this research in Bath, England and in Israel. She also covered conferences for the ceramic arts and curated a number of international exhibitions.

She has completed work for a Ph.D. in Creative Writing in Wales. After leaving West Wales, Manning taught English at Purdue University in Indiana, USA. She went to Tucson, Arizona, to spend the penultimate winter in the States and wrote her second novel.

This is her first novel. She is a published poet of approximately ten poems with Nobel House and in university papers.

Shawn Irvin Manning has five sons and a stepson. She has been married to Dr John Manning, a former professor of English and modern languages for twenty years. For eight and a half years as a couple, they took care of John’s aging mother, Nancy, who suffered from dementia. Once retired, the three of them left the States in 2011 and moved to Costa Rica where Nancy died at the age of 91. They then lived in Cashel, County Tipperary, Ireland, for eight months before moving back to England.

Shawn has been an avid student of biblical studies for fifty years. Since leaving teaching at university, for eight years she has written letters to family and friends scattered around the world, which have been both journalistic in nature and demonstrate an interest in biblical eschatology.

She enjoys quilting and decorative painting. Shawn and John have two cats named Sweetie and Bobby Buttons. They are settled in England.

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