An overweight, divorced, and alcoholic simpleton with the curious moniker “Bburke” spends his evenings and weekends running a small side-business: he mows lawns, pulls weeds, and trims the bushes of countless customers in the central New Jersey area. But in midst of controlling all that natural growth—and contributing to his physical growth through a steady intake of Bud Lights—his own intellectual growth has been quite stinted. That is, until he hires two pseudo-intellectual liberal arts graduates who force him to undergo a personal literary (and ‘craft’ beer) renaissance. Through an exploration of the work of Shelley, Camus, Stein, and others, Bburke certainly gathers a deeper, more philosophical view of his life, his art, and his fellow man, but perhaps at the expense of his own sanity.
Told in a variety of styles including traditional third-person narrative, first-person memoir, and script-style dialogue, and interspersed with a weaving of literary, musical, and pop cultural allusions, Growth is a novel that questions the role of art in our lives and seeks to examine the way literature permeates our own views of reality—and the inverse.
About AJ Smith (North Jersey Author)
AJ Smith grew up in Bridgewater, New Jersey. He graduated from The College of New Jersey in 2010 with a degree in English Secondary Education. He currently works as a Freshmen English teacher at Hillsborough High School. He lives in Somerville, New Jersey with his wife, Millie, and his dog, Lebowski.
Smith published his first novel, Growth, in August of 2017. As a writer, Smith focuses primarily on writing as a craft. He believes that while an exciting story can certainly captivate a reader, ultimately the job of an author is to embrace the beauty of language and remind readers of the power words can have. Growth has been praised as "cerebral and incredibly well written" and Smith's writing touted as a "unique deconstruction of language" (Heradas Review).