Henry’s Chapel

Graham‘s new novel Henry’s Chapel is available now, published by Sagging Meniscus Press.

In Henry’s Chapel we watch a film by proxy, through the eyes of a narrator who offers a play-by-play account, complete with probing analysis, of Albarb Noella’s Lawnmower of a Jealous God. Within this unusual frame we encounter the story of an isolated family in rural East Texas, a tragicomic tale of incest, abuse, mental illness and liberation. As meta-narrative and narrative merge into one another, the film’s characters, its director, and implicitly the narrator and author themselves all become significant figures, while the film itself becomes both an immersive if ghostly medium and a distanced object of critical inquiry, its meaning and being inseparable from the metafictional organism that contains it. The final product is a kind of narratological incest heretofore unexplored.


“Henry’s Chapel is a decidedly real and raucous masterwork about an unreal and likely unwatchable film. Only an extraordinary talent can transform a B-movie into a literary tour de force, and Guest has done so with wit, class and insight. The book proves far better than the movie, it seems, even when outside the mind of the reader.”
— Jacob M. Appel, author of Scouting for the Reaper

“Woven, imagined, projected out of, and fashioned in the shell of itself, Henry’s Chapel is a Möbius strip of a book, an experimental take on the Southern novel. It is a relentlessly interrogative and quite literally irreverent family story: the immaculate conception is an ‘incestuous conception’ after all for ‘the Bible entails incest: it’s incest all the way down.’ The Judeo-Christian creation myth is the Ur pattern, the mythopoetic DNA of the dysfunctional family. Graham Guest simultaneously studies, psychoanalyzes, and literary-critically harries this story, dialectically undoing his own novelistic embroidery, melting down and then reusing types without (somehow) undermining verisimilitude. This is a whirling read, dizzying, uneasy, and smart.”
— Miranda Mellis, author of Demystifications

“Graham Guest offers just what we need in these times: a magical tale that weaves philosophical thought and the fun of a story well told.”
— Leslie Carol Roberts, author of Here Is Where I Walk

“Painful and maddening, horribly funny and confusingly tragic, Henry’s Chapel left me sometimes smiling, often lost in thought, and always struggling with a not quite definable sense of wonder. Like reading Pynchon on acid after you’ve recently taken mushrooms, Guest’s writing led me to constantly seek clarity in that deeply warped place just beyond my field of vision. But I don’t know. I’m asking you.”
— Eric Barnes, author of The City Where We Once Lived

More About Henry’s Chapel

Review of Henry's Chapel by Jacob Appel for 3:AM Magazine

Review of Henry’s Chapel by Jacob Appel for 3:AM Magazine

Renown writer and reviewer Jacob M. Appel has written a great review of Henry’s Chapel for 3:AM Magazine, “rendering the unmentionable mentionable”: “Henry’s Chapel is a decidedly real and raucous … Read More >
First review of Henry's Chapel at Heavy Feather Review

First review of Henry’s Chapel at Heavy Feather Review

Here is the first review of Henry’s Chapel (Sagging Meniscus Press), by Christopher Lura at Heavy Feather Review … Read More >
A preview of "Henry's Chapel"

A preview of “Henry’s Chapel”

Read a preview of Graham’s next book Henry’s Chapel, published by Sagging Meniscus Press as a part of its “Blank Page Series” in early 2022 … Read More >