Arizona Hermit Author Wins Major International Literary Award

A self-published book author who spent the last four years living as a hermit in a southeastern Arizona fire lookout has won a prestigious  international literary award.

Glynn E. Thompson's book, The Raving Eunuch Monks, sold 500 copies by word of mouth alone after he published it last year, according to a July 2007 Tucson Weekly article.

A news release about Thompson's win doesn't mention any prize, but the award itself is a major deal. It's been given out only 14 times since 1953. Previous recipients include literary superstars Ernest Hemingway and Jack Kerouac.

See below for a short excerpt of the book:

Chapter One
December 12, 1970
9:30 A.M.

   Awareness was slowly clubbing me awake. A murky, sloppy, disoriented awareness of grunt-noise emitted by the sturdiest of brain cells, those muscle bound, primeval, cave dwelling cells which, like cockroaches, survive the centuries while everything around them either dies off or evolves. Cells so primitive they are capable of producing only the simplest of signals - the orgasm's howl; the moan of an agonizing hangover.

   For thirty minutes I laid near death.

   Gradually more sophisticated messages began to sketchily identify specific areas of severe distress - cold sweats, heaving stomach, detonating temples. Certain needs - flaming thirst, bursting bladder, nicotine deprivation - were demanding to be met.

The book is a "saga embracing the nobility of accepting the contradictions and darkness in the human soul and the courage to celebrate both," according to quote in the release by Karl Mueller, award selection committee member.

 -- Ray Stern

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.
Contact: Ray Stern