HOW TO DEAL WITH CANCER, LOVE, LOSS, ADDICTION, AND DEATH IN THE SOUTH, WITHOUT GOING COMPLETELY BAT-SHIT CRAZY. The more clairvoyant amongst the citizens might have seen the plague coming. The town's street design, after all, told the story: had the roads of Carbondale, Arkansas been the constellation lines between stars, reaching with the stretch of their potholes and paint to the homes of those infected, they would have told the story of the tripartite battle between Hercules, Hydra, and Cancer itself. On Carpentry is dually a comedy and tragedy about a mysterious outbreak of pancreatic cancer in Carbondale. Like all Southern stories, the novel is replete with crazy old ladies, renegade street ministers, and frustrated lemonade salesmen. There is cocaine. There are Easybake Potatoes. Such are the Confederate flags of our time, flapping in the cool, cancer-ridden, Southern wind.