Monica Brashearshttps://www.monicabrashears.com/ is an Affrilachian writer from Tennessee and a graduate of Syracuse University's MFA program. Her work has appeared in Nashville Review, Split Lip Magazine, Appalachian Review, The Masters Review, and more.
12:15 pm to 1:00 pm
Cavalier House Books Tent
House of Cotton: A Novel
An enchanting Black Southern gothic debut, perfect for readers of Mexican Gothic... "Fresh, haunting...In her roller-coaster ride of a gothic debut novel, Monica Brashears upends expectations at every turn." — The New York Times
“Every page, every scene, every sentence of Monica Brashears’s debut novel House of Cotton dazzles and surprises. An intense, enthralling, and deeply satisfying read!” — Deesha Philyaw, author of The Secret Lives of Church Ladies
"A new, dazzling, and essential American voice." — George Saunders, author of Lincoln in the Bardo
Magnolia Brown is nineteen years old, broke, and effectively an orphan. She feels stuck and haunted: by her overdrawn bank account, her predatory landlord, and the ghost of her late grandmother Mama Brown.
One night, while working at her dead-end gas station job, a mysterious, slick stranger named Cotton walks in and offers to turn Magnolia’s luck around with a lucrative “modeling” job at his family’s funeral home where she’ll impersonate the dead. There’s a lucrative fee involved and she accepts. But despite things looking up, Magnolia’s problems fatten along with her wallet. And when Cotton’s requests become increasingly demanding, Magnolia discovers there’s a lot more at stake than just her rent.
Sharp as a belted knife, this sly and haunting social commentary cuts straight to the bone. "Brashears offers a fresh new perspective on Appalachia and the American South, and Magnolia's rich voice will echo with readers long after the pages are closed" (Shelf Awareness).
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