High school art teacher Carl Rittenhaur is in line to inherit the family farm, but his guilt over the deaths of his parents burdens him from claiming his legacy. His life gets a jolt when his ex-fiancé, who had once pulled him from depression and later abandoned him at the altar, returns to town with her two-year-old daughter in tow. She is in the last throes of a custody battle with the girl’s father, and Carl has been mysteriously named in the hearings. Tangled in an old romance and a corrupt family court system, Carl must find where his true hunger lies, either for his birthright and all its memories, or for this new family that may be his salvation.
Jeffrey N. Johnson's first novel, THE HUNGER ARTIST, is a finalist for the Library of Virginia's People's Choice Award. He was awarded the Andrew Lytle Fiction Prize by The Sewanee Review in 2011, and his fiction and poetry have appeared in Connecticut Review, South Carolina Review, Lake Effect, Real: Regarding Arts and Letters, Red Rock Review, Evansville Review, Potomac Review, Clackamas Literary Review, Dos Passos Review, Roanoke Review, Gargoyle and Aethlon, The Journal of Sport Literature. He is a fellow of the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and a recipient of a Creative Fellow grant from the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation.