BOOK REVIEW: All Joe Knight | Kevin Morris | Grove Atlantic Press

9780802125781- all joe knight-kevin morris
All Joe Knight by Kevin Morris
Grove Atlantic Press, December  2016
ISBN 978080212578, Fiction

I am Joe, sometimes Joey. Ordinary Joe. Average Joe. Joe Blow. Joseph Michael Knight, Jr. Joe Knight. All night long. All Knight Long. All Knight.

1961. Outside Philadelphia, a soon-to-be father runs into a telephone pole while driving drunk; nine months later, his widow dies in a smashed-up T-Bird. From the start, the orphaned Joe Knight is a blank slate. Taken in by a kindly aunt in a tough-skinned suburb, Joe finds his family in high school with the Fallcrest basketball team—the kind of team that comes around once in a lifetime. All these kids want is to make it to the Palestra, UPenn’s cathedral of college basketball.

Fast forward thirty years. Joe is newly divorced with one daughter and certain he is unfit for love. Ever since he sold the ad firm that he built from the ground up for millions of dollars, he spends his time at a local business school or going to strip clubs, the only place it seems he can quiet his mind. A former Fallcrest teammate, Chris Scully, who is now district attorney advises Joe of a Justice Department investigation into the deal that made Joe rich years ago. The deal that Joe brought all of his former Fallcrest basketball teammates in on, except for Scully. Details emerge about Joe’s alleged wrongdoing, forcing Joe to come to term with the secret that has tormented him for decades.

Excerpt from ALL JOE KNIGHT by Kevin Morris:

Truth is I’ve made enough money and cut off enough strings that I don’t have to do anything and I like it. Coming up the way I did, from where I did, I am not burdened by a sense of sympathy or the guilt of a free pass. Truth is the math is simple: I don’t care enough about changing the general state of things to do anything. If you tuck enough away and are just carrying yourself, there is really not much anyone can do to you, especially if you are not pushing into anyone else’s world. That’s the great thing about America—the freedom to succeed and the freedom to be let alone once you do.

I think about kids once in a while, like who is the kid out there who is me, just forty years later. That passes unanswered. My own kid, she’ll be okay, I have her fixed up, and she doesn’t really want much from me anyway. Truth is there’s nothing about the status quo that on balance makes me want to do anything differently than live life in this nice-ass apartment, above what’s left of the greene country towne that will never be burnt, always wholesome. Truth is I have ridden a wave generated by a miracle wind-machine born in this brick city five lifetimes ago. All this freedom. Truth is I will probably die like this, another American man who got what he wanted.

Kevin  Morris is the author of the acclaimed story collection White Man’s Problems. He previously wrote for Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, and Filmmaker magazine, produced the well-regarded documentary Hands on a Hardbody and was co-producer of  The Book of Mormon, a Tony Award winning play.

​Live and Life Will Give You Pictures: Masterworks of French Photography, 1890–1950​ | exhibition open through January 9, 2017, Roberts Gallery at The Barnes Museum, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 

Photography was invented in France in the 1820s, and many of its most innovative and influential practitioners developed in the milieu that produced the impressionist, post-impressionist, and early modern artists favored by Albert C. Barnes and featured in the collection of the Barnes Foundation.

October 8, 2016–January 9, 2017
Roberts Gallery

In the second half of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th, photographers and painters traded aesthetic ideas and were interested in many of the same features of contemporary experience, particularly as it touched Paris. Sometimes referred to as the “capital of modernity,” the city was radically transformed in this period of rapid industrialization, urbanization, and class stratification. As with the other visual arts, progressive photography came to be defined by the novel ways in which it was able to represent the more spectacular aspects of these and related developments that shaped all modern cities.

To illustrate these phenomena, this exhibition, titled after a remark by Henri Cartier-Bresson, presents vintage prints of nearly 200 classic images made between 1890 and 1950 by French photographers and photographers working extensively in France. The salon-style hang will be organized thematically. Subjects include Paris and Environs, Life on the Street, Labor and Leisure, Commerce, Personality and Publicity, Reportage, and Art for Art’s Sake.

Drawn exclusively from the private collection of Michael Mattis and Judy Hochberg, Live and Life Will Give You Pictures resonates with the core of the Barnes collection and includes work by such masters as Berenice Abbott, Eugène Atget, Ilse Bing, Erwin Blumenfeld, Brassaï, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Edgar Degas, Eugène Druet, André Kertész, Francois Kollar, Jacques-Henri Lartigue, Dora Maar, Man Ray, Lisette Model, László Moholy-Nagy, and Félix Thiollier.

Live and Life Will Give You Pictures was organized by the Barnes Foundation in conjunction with Art2Art Circulating Exhibitions.