Ivy Leaf - Spring 2014
Kenneth Womack, senior associate dean for Academic Affairs and Penn State Laureate, has been recognized as an award-winning finalist in the literary fiction category for the 2013 USA Best Book Awards for his newest novel, Playing the Angel.
Playing the Angel follows the story of Tiff Proulx, who works as a living statue, posing as the Statue of Liberty for the French Quarter’s tourist trade in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. By night, she descends into the darkness costumed as the Angel of Mercy, defending and protecting the storm refugees from the thugs who pock the city’s wayward streets. But her acts of heroism are no accident: Tiff’s days as an innocent college student came to an abrupt end after a National Guardsman, pretending to be a Good Samaritan, raped her during the height of the storm’s fury. Tiff’s skills as a living statue include extraordinary stealth and an uncanny ability to render herself completely motionless. Using these “powers,” she transforms herself into a vigilante hero, combing the Quarter to fight evil and injustice, as well as to hunt down the man who plunged her life into despair during the storm’s darkest hours.
Womack is the author of two other novels, John Doe No. 2 and the Dreamland Motel (2010), which earned ForeWord Reviews’ Bronze Award for Literary Fiction, and The Restaurant at the End of the World (2012), which won the Gold Medal in the Independent Publisher Book Awards for Regional Fiction.