We are excited to announce the launch of Breaking Kayfabe, an autobiographical novel about pro wrestling written by PhD Narrative Non-Fiction alumni Wes Brown and published by Bluemoose Books.
As the son of a champion pro wrestler and a former champion himself, Wes began his PhD with the idea of the book already in mind but it was under the supervision of David Flusfeder that the novel really began to take shape and securing a CHASE doctoral scholarship helped him see the project through to its artistic fruition.
The novel, like the ‘sport’ of pro wrestling, blurs the lines between fact and fiction. Growing up in a council house in Leeds, Wes Brown dreamed of becoming a ‘real’ man like the ones in his ex-pro wrestler dad’s tales of heroes and villains, gods and monsters. The only problem was he never told him they were fake. In this modern-day Pinocchio story, Wes follows in his father’s footsteps in the hope of coming to terms with the fictions that make a man.
Reflecting on the academic support he received as a student at Kent, Wes said: ‘Writing a novel as part of a PhD enabled me to give it the seriousness it deserved and for reading and writing to be at the forefront of my working life. Working with David Flusfeder was a game-changer. Without him, I’m not sure the book would have become the personal, involved and intimate story it is now. The input of my second supervisor, Amy Sackville, and the support of students and colleagues in the department also helped enormously,’
The book is available to buy from Amazon, Foyles and Waterstones.
Wes will be speaking about his book as part of the University of Kent Creative Writing Reading Series on May 23, 18.00, Keynes SCR, as well as launch events in Waterstone’s Leeds on May 24 and Waterstone’s Gower Street June 8.