Growing Up in the Church of Knock Down, Drag Out; or, How I Quit Loving a Blue-Eyed Jesus
"How in the world does Texas turn out so many sassy, silver-tongued agitators: Ann Richards, Molly Ivins--and now, Diane Wilson. Holy Roller answers that question. It made me laugh out loud many times--even as I cringed with alarm for the young girl Wilson at the mercy of the lunatic antics of cuckolded game wardens and snake handling convicts. Readers who love Harper Lee, Carson McCullers, or Flannery O'Connor will savor and admire this mesmerizing tale of growing up among shrimpers on the Texas bayous."
—Lisa Alther, best-selling author of Kinfolks and Kinflicks
2008 Foreword Magazine Book of the Year Award
Autobiography & Memoir
“Wilson's prose is breathtaking in its dexterity and blunt poetry.”
—Library Journal, starred review
In this rollicking memoir, Diane Wilson—a Texas Gulf Coast shrimper and the author of the highly acclaimed An Unreasonable Woman—takes readers back to her childhood in rural Texas and into her family of Holy Rollers. By night at tent revivals, Wilson gets religion from Brother Dynamite, an ex-con who finds Jesus in a baloney sandwich and handles masses of squirming poisonous snakes under the protection of the Holy Ghost. By day, Wilson scratches secret messages to Jesus into the paint on her windowsill and lies down in the middle of the road to see how long she can sleep in between passing trucks.
Holy Roller is a fast-paced, hilarious, sometimes shocking experience readers won’t soon forget. It is the prequel to Wilson’s first book, telling the story of the Texas childhood of a fierce little girl who will grow up to become An Unreasonable Woman, take on Big Industry, and win. One of the best Southern writers of her generation, Wilson’s voice twangs with a style and accent all its own, as true and individual as her boundless originality and wild youth.
Learn more about Diane in this video: