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by J.A. Jones

Heat is a modern Heart of Darkness. Gerald Gault, MD, is torn between his angels and his devilsand so are his patients. The novel is based on a true story of a doctor who, in the 1960s, settled deep in the swamplands of South Carolina to treat the indigent for malnutrition, parasites, and related diseases. It portrays a time when such limited access to medical care inspired worship among his patients and enmity from the public and private medical establishments. Dr. Gault (his fictional name) became a celebrity, attracting attention from The New York Times, a number of luminaries (including Normal Mailer and Diane Arbus), and sociologists from as far away as California. Tragedy shadows him, from his rich and obsessive inner life to his multiple addictions. Similarly addicted, his wife leads a desultory existence at his side, with hints of freedom and separation near the end of the story.

About the Author

J.A. Jones grew up in Southern California and attended the University of California (Los Angeles and Santa Cruz), where he concentrated in literary studies and wrote both poetry and short stories. He prepared a first draft of Heat in 1973 and then after a thirty-year government career, picked up the draft and finished it in its current form. He is the author of another book-length manuscript which is in final editing. He is married and has one daughter, a physician in Atlanta.

(2011, paperback, 238 pages)