Owen Egerton is a local author, performer, and filmmaker who has written several books, including The Book of Harold, Everyone Says That at the End of the World, and a collection of short stories called How Best to Avoid Dying.
His 2017 novel, Hollow, is set here in Austin and will take you on an intense ride of emotion, humor, and catharsis. The plot goes like this: When Oliver Bonds, a revered religious studies professor at the University of Texas, loses his toddler son and undergoes intense legal scrutiny over his involvement, grief engulfs him completely. His life is upended; Oliver loses his wife, home, and faith. Three years after his son’s death, Oliver lives in a shack without electricity and frequents the soup kitchen where he used to volunteer. It’s only when befriended by Lyle, a con artist with a passion for theories of Hollow Earth, that Oliver begins to reengage with the world. Oliver too becomes convince that the inside of the planet might contain a different realm. Desperate to find a place where he can escape his past, Oliver chases after the most unlikely of miracles.
After its release, NPR declared it one of the best books of the year. Texas Monthly loved it too: “There’s profound sorrow to be found here, but great wit too: ‘I pictured my monthly paycheck stretched over our expenses like a queen sheet on a king-sized bed.'”
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