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Delusions of Grandeur

American Essays

Joey Franklin

Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
Imprint: University of Nebraska Press
Published: 10/2020
Pages: 216
Subject: Biography and Autobiography
eBook ISBN: 9781496224729


In Delusions of Grandeur Joey Franklin examines the dreams and delusions of America's most persistent mythologies—including the beliefs in white supremacy and rugged individualism and the problems of toxic masculinity and religious extremism—as they reveal themselves in the life of a husband and father fast approaching forty. With prose steeped in research and a playful, lyric attention to language, Franklin asks candid questions about what it takes to see clearly as a citizen, a parent, a child, a neighbor, and a human being. How should a white father from the suburbs talk with his sons about the death of Trayvon Martin? What do video games like Fortnite and Minecraft reveal about our appetites for destruction? Is it possible for Americans to celebrate bootstrap pioneer history while also lamenting the slavery that made it possible? How does the American tradition of exploiting cheap labor create a link between coal mining and plasma donation in southeast Ohio? Part cultural critique, part parental confessional, Delusions of Grandeur embraces the notion that the personal is always political, and reveals important, if sometimes uncomfortable, truths about our American obsessions with race, class, religion, and family.  


Joey Franklin is an associate professor of English at Brigham Young University and the coeditor of Fourth Genre: Explorations in Nonfiction. He is the author of My Wife Wants You to Know I'm Happily Married (Nebraska, 2015), and his shorter work has appeared in many literary magazines and edited collections, including Writer's Chronicle, Poets & Writers, Gettysburg Review, The Best of Brevity, and the Norton Reader.   


"Franklin writes like a novelist, reasons like a theologian, and reminds us that getting it right, in both language and life, is all that matters in the end."—Dennis Covington, author of Salvation on Sand Mountain

"I'm a serious admirer of Joey Franklin's work, and this book gathers some of his very best and most culturally and politically relevant, nuanced, balanced, and penetrating essays—which, properly and widely read, might actually deepen and widen the conversation, at least a little."—David Shields, author of The Trouble with Men: Reflections on Sex, Love, Marriage, Porn, and Power

"With candor, modesty, and a leavening of humor, he ponders sexual shame, dysfunctional families, class divisions, apocalyptic religion, and other difficult issues, inviting the reader to join him in the search for understanding."—Scott Russell Sanders, author of The Way of Imagination