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Getting to the Root
Gardening with Author Fergus MacRoich
About the author
Fergus MacRoich was born in Belgium and moved to the United States where he spent his early childhood in South Philadelphia and then moved to Brooklyn. After graduating high school, he joined the Medical Corps in the Air Force and was sent to Selma, Alabama during the Civil Rights Movement where he flew helicopter rescue. He received a B.A. in Russian Studies from the University of Alabama and earned a Masters and Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University in Russian Literature with a minor in French Literature. He worked as a Green Beret language instructor at Fort Bragg, NC from 1975-78. In 1988, he received a B.A. from the University of Alaska in Fairbanks in Spanish Literature. He has lived in Mexico, Spain, France, Russia, and Texas, and worked as a language teacher at the University of Alaska (1978-1997). Fergus was also the poetry editor for Paper Radio for several years. He resided on the Kenai Peninsula in Alaska for 15 years and has recently moved to Bellingham, Washington.
In Fried Chicken, Jesus and Chocolate, Ishmael is born to a heroin addicted mother whom he thinks is a spider. Much of his time while growing up is spent eating fried chicken and watching cartoons. When his mother overdoses Ishmael goes to live with Grandma Cecilia, who impresses the teachings of Jesus upon him. After Grandma Cecilia is murdered, Ishmael is taken to a Boy's Home where he is abused but is protected by 'higher powers' and his own will to survive.
Fried Chicken, Jesus and Chocolate is as much about storytelling as it is about style, and the ending is as magical and fantastical as some of the moments in Ishmael's life.