Luke McGee lives an ordinary life—he works a mind-numbing job in the PR office of a big defense contractor, where he hates his boss and directs his fury at his ever-failing typewriter, while his wife, Annie, stays at home taking care of their newborn baby, feeling dissatisfied. Enter Wain Bagley, recent prison inmate and aspiring Nietzsche reincarnate. He bursts into their lives, bringing his grandiose plans and uninhibited personality, and infuses the dreary McGee household with excitement and possibility. Wain becomes both their friend and a powerfully destructive force in their lives, and the McGees find themselves players in yet another of Wain’s elaborate—and illegal—plans. Fearing that the law may soon catch up with them, Luke quits his job and moves his family to Green Freedom, a utopian community Luke has always fantasized about. This new life could have been a dream come true—if only Wain hadn’t come with them. Amid the rising turmoil in the story, the narration is playful and the characters never fail to charm. Every obstacle they face points to life’s comedy. Green Freedom is a historical novel of the 1960s, a character portrait, and a journey of self-discovery all in one—beautifully orchestrated to take readers on a wild adventure.
Kindred Spirits: 400 Years of an American Family
"It's easy to understand the temptations of genealogy, the apparent promise of being able to locate oneself in space and time, acquiring, if one is lucky, a bona fide sliver of something like divine perspective. What's remarkable about Kindred Spirits is Joe David Bellamy's ability to make a private quest into a work of fascination and suspense for his readers."
--Kathryn Harrison, NY Times Bestselling author
"Kindred Spirits is a wise, wild ride, written with wit and energy and charm, and packed with stories that read like fiction. By the last page you'll have read a surprising history of America, and you'll have a new notion of just how eerily connected we all are."
--Josephine Humphreys, author of Nowhere Else on Earth
“I really enjoyed this book! Joe David Bellamy’s Kindred Spirits is so engaging, charmingly inclusive, and skillfully and tenderly spooned out, there is real comfort here in the universal message that many of us may quite possibly be at least cousins.
An exceptional and compelling new breed of memoir, history lesson, genealogy tutorial, Ripley’s Believe It or Not, personal meditation, and fireside seat-gripper, Kindred Spirits is rich with stunners and head-spinners that both entertain and leave the reader pondering the nature of chance and destiny that inform all of our origin tales. It will be hard to read this and not decide you are related to Joe David Bellamy.”
—Steve Amick, author of The Lake, the River & the Other Lake and Nothing But a Smile
Island in the Sky: Bellamy and Allied Families....
This new book by the author of The Bellamys of Early Virginia is the story of how Bellamy history and ancestry is linked to a mysterious island in the Chesapeake Bay that caused a war in the 1600s between Virginia and Maryland. The Isle of Kent was discovered, named, and colonized by William Claiborne, one of the most keen and influential settlers in the early history of the Jamestown colony. One of Claiborne's descendants married into the Bellamy family. This book also deals with the ancestral lines of the known wives of the sons of John-II and traces them and several allied families back into the 1600s--to Jamestown, to the Eastern Shore, and to several of the earliest known English colonists in North America.
New World Extra
What happens when a person with no professional acting experience is thrust into the middle of a major motion picture and is expected to perform in scenes next to Colin Farrell and Christopher Plummer? Well, he does his best. But his best is not nearly good enough! Frankly, it's one screw-up after another. This behind-the-scenes account on the set of The New World is candid, informative, and often hilarious, and it will give readers a new appreciation of the talent, cooperation, hard work, and craziness that go into the making of a big budget Hollywood movie.
"I loved your account of the stint in The New World.... The whole piece is appropriately a hoot."
"Colin Farrell has shoulder-length black hair and a full beard for this film, which gives him an entirely different look from his appearance in Phone Booth. In person, he seems quite a bit more handsome than I expected, and there is an aura about him that is not just due to the fact that everyone knows he is famous. He is magnetic—someone you have to look at—though my fellow extras and I are trying to be cool about it. Someone discovered him in a play in Dublin when he was in his early twenties, and now he's a star. I guess that kind of talent is rare enough that if you've got it, someone finds out." --Joe David Bellamy
The Lost Saranac Interviews
What if you could spend an exclusive week with today's most celebrated writers, discussing writing, literature, and how to develop your craft? This book takes you back in time to one of the most stimulating writing environments of the past thirty years.
Interviews with Margaret Atwood, Joyce Carol Oates, John Hawkes, Gail Godwin, Ann Beattie, Annie Dillard, William Kittredge, Rosellen Brown, Jayne Anne Phillips, Russell Banks, and others.
"The atmosphere of the Saranac Conference comes alive in this remarkable volume.... Rich textured discussions on literary craft and practice...."
--Erika Dreifus, The Writer
The Bellamys of Early Virginia
"The particular Bellamys I am writing about here arrived in the New World very early on, certainly no later than 1710 and possibly as early as 1634. It was a time of great upheaval in England, from whence they came, and we do not know expressly why they came. But there are a number of likely reasons...." Joe David Bellamy's book provides the historical background as well as the hard evidence for a clearer understanding of this quintessentially American family. It is based on more than a decade of original research into the genealogy and family history of the early Bellamys in areas of Virginia where many of the vital records were destroyed in the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, and the Civil War. This book cites numerous previously undiscovered sources, corrects many misconceptions, and puts forth compelling suggestions for further research. For an advance look at a 30-page excerpt from the book, click on the title The Bellamys of Early Virginia above.
Literary Luxuries: American Writing at the End of the Millennium
Part memoir, part critique, part impassioned defense of American literary culture and the values it espouses and struggles to uphold, Literary Luxuries offers unforgettable commentary on the literary life in the United States during the last decades of the twentieth century.
"Joe David Bellamy is one of the rarest of American breeds--a critic with a diamond-bright prose style and a heart of gleaming gold. Time and again as you read these pages, you want to call him up and compare notes or have him over for dinner and stay up late cracking walnuts and drinking sweet wine, listening to his stories.... If you daydream about living the writer's life, if you love literary gossip and books, by all means pick this one up. It's a jewel."
--Carolyn See, The Washigton Post
"Literary Luxuries is a linked gathering of essays presenting, from lively and provocative points of view, a history and a vision of contemporary writing and culture, an authentic firsthand account of the literary life in our age.... From first to last, we hear Bellamy's voice, and it is the voice of the author and its lively consistency that give this book its undeniable integrity."
"Atomic Love is a collection of stories so passionately committed to the truth, to art and reality, that it will stop at nothing, give everything. Brilliant and devastating, these stories illuminate, like love, a ground zero of the heart. They are unforgettable."
"This is fiction of the highest quality--finely written, moving, adventurous in subject matter and approach, convincing in its depiction of character and situation, and demonstrating a keen knowledge of human motives and desires."
--T. Alan Broughton
"Wait a minute: we've got a likable hero and a lovable heroine, and they actually get together. And enjoy it. Joe David Bellamy's gentle, nostalgic, and funny love story gives us what so much of today's stingy fiction does not: warmth, redemption, and the very good news that happy endings are indeed one of life's options."
--T. Coraghessan Boyle
"A comic fantasy of romance on the rebound, Joe David Bellamy's novel is also a wonderfully engaging and intelligent look at a certain young age in the life of a country and a man. I read it without stopping."
"This is a wise, funny, and touching novel about American life--a lovely book. Bellamy's Suzi Sinzinnati is the girl of your dreams."
The Frozen Sea
"These are intelligent and intelligently written poems, which I have read with pleasure. I like the way the images and metaphors rise out of the circumstances of the poems themselves, as the poems rise directly out of experience, making a high degree of integration and naturalness in the development of ideas and feelings, a sense that these structures of language evolve without contrivance, which is what Yeats said we all have to work so hard to achieve. Anyone who has wrestled with the recalcitrance of diction and syntax will recognize the mastery in these poems. These are fine pieces of work."
"I've enjoyed The Frozen Sea very much. The poems on the heart are fine, and I particularly love 'The Moth's Attraction to the Light'--I'm glad to know what moths are doing. It also has something to say about a man's sometimes obsessive attraction to a woman, or women...he's heading for the moon!"