Artist Projects

In the Province of the Gods


Kenny Fries

An American’s journey of profound self-discovery in Japan, an exquisite tale of cultural and physical difference, sexuality, love, loss, mortality, and the ephemeral nature of beauty and art. A disabled foreigner in Japan—a society historically hostile to difference—Kenny Fries spins a tale of exciting, bewildering adventure. As he visits Japanese gardens, experiences Noh and butoh, and meets artists and scholars, he also discovers disabled gods, one-eyed samurai, blind chanting priests, and A-bomb survivors. When he is diagnosed as HIV-positive, all his assumptions about Japan, the body, and mortality are shaken, and he must find a way to re-enter life on new terms.

Advance Praise for In the Province of the Gods

“In In the Province of the Gods, Kenny Fries writes out of the pure hot emergency of a mortal being trying to keep himself alive. So much is at stake here—health, affection, culture, trauma, language—but its greatest surprise is what thrives in the midst of suffering. A beautiful book."

—Paul Lisicky, author of The Narrow Door

 

Project Updates

  • In the Province of the Gods will be published by University of Wisconsin Press on September 19, 2017

  • In the Province of the Gods will be published by University of Wisconsin Press in Fall 2017.

  • 2014: In the Province of the Gods is now completed and with Kenny’s agent

  • 2011: Fries receives grant from Toronto Arts Council for In the Province of the Gods

  • 2011: Fries changes the title of his book to In the Province of the Gods.

  • 2010: Fries completes first revision of Genkan: Entries into Japan

  • 2010: Fries makes final research trip to Japan for Genkan

  • 2010: Fries refines draft of Genkan: Entries Into Japan at the Chateau de Lavigny International Writers Residency in Lavigny, Switzerland