Little Sister Death

Little Sister Death

3.27 (1,121 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

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David Binder is a young, successful writer living in Chicago and suffering from writer's block. He stares at the blank page, and the blank page stares back--until inspiration strikes in the form of a ghost story that captivated him as a child. With his pregnant wife and young daughter in tow, he sets out to explore the myth of Virginia Beale, Faery Queen of the Haunted Dell. But as his investigation takes him deeper and deeper into the legacy of blood and violence that casts its shadow over the old Beale farm, Binder finds himself obsessed with a force that's as wicked as it is seductive. A stirring literary rendition of Tennessee's famed Curse of the Bell Witch, Little Sister Death skillfully toes the line between Southern Gothic and horror, and further cements William Gay's legacy as not only one of the South's finest writers, but among the best that American literature has to offer.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 224 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 22.86mm | 399g
  • Westland, United States
  • English
  • 1938103130
  • 9781938103131
  • 1,451,802

Review quote

Praise for Little Sister Death "A mixture of Flannery O'Connor and Stephen if Faulkner had written The Shining." --Kirkus Reviews "a lovely small vessel of unease salvaged from a deep river" - The New York Times "The late William Gay is pure Tennessee Gothic. He is what Cormac McCarthy would have become if he had stayed in Tennessee writing about murder, incest, necrophilia and backwoods love. It's hard to find writing this dark that feels this authentic." --James Franco "William Gay's Little Sister Death is a dark, shimmering gift to readers. Marshaling all his monumental narrative powers and with prose as sharp and glittering as a scythe, he brings a tale so sinister, lush and spellbinding, it haunts your dreams long after you reach its final pages." --Megan Abbott, author of The Fever and Dare Me Praise for The Long Home "...a writer of remarkable talent and promise...eminently worth talking about." --The New York Times Book Review "Gay has created a novel of great emotional power." --Denver Post "It'll leave you breathless..." --Rocky Mountain News Praise for Provinces of Night "Earthily idiosyncratic, spookily author with a powerful vision." --The New York Times "An extremely seductive read." --Washington Post Book World "Southern writing at its very finest, soaked through with the words and images of rural Tennessee, packed full of that which really matters, the problems of the human heart." --Booklist "A writer of striking talent." --Chicago Tribune "Almost a personal revival of handwork in fiction--superb--must be listened to and felt." --Barry Hannah "This is a novel from the old school. The characters are truly characters. The prose is gothic. And the charm is big." --The San Diego Union-Tribune "Writers like Flannery O'Connor or William Faulkner would welcome Gay as their peer for getting characters so entangled in the roots of a family tree." --Star Tribune (Minneapolis) "[A novel] about the preciousness of hope, the fragility of dreams, interwoven with a good-sized dollop[ of biblical justice and the belief that a Southern family can be cursed." --The Miami Herald "Plumbs the larger things in life...The epic and the personal unite seamlessly." --Milwaukee Journal Sentinel "An old-fashioned barrel-aged shot of Tennessee storytelling. Gay's tale of ancient wrongs and men with guns is high-proof stuff." --Elwood Reid "A finely wrought, moving story with a plot as old as Homer. Sometimes the old ones are the best ones." --The Atlanta Journal-Constitution "William Gay is the big new name to include in the stories annals of Southern lit." --Esquire "A plot so gripping that the reader wants to fly through the pages to reach the conclusion...but the beauty and richness of Gay's language exerts a contrary pull, making the reader want to linger over every word." --Rocky Mountain News "Gay is a terrific writer." --The Plain Dealer Praise for I Hate To See That Evening Sun Go Down "William Gay is richly gifted: a seemingly effortless storyteller...a writer of prose that's fiercely wrought, pungent in edtail yet poetic in the most welcome sense." --The New York Times Book Review "One perfect tale follows another, leaving you in little doubt that Gay is a genuine poet of the ornery, the estranged, the disenfranchised, crafting stories built to last." --Seattle Times "A writer of striking talent." --Chicago Tribune "Gay confirms his place in the Southern fiction pantheon." --Publishers Weekly Every story is a the Southern tradition of Carson McCullers, Flannery O'Connor, and William Faulkner." --USA Today "[A]s charming as it is wise. Hellfire--in all the right ways." --Kirkus Reviews "[Gay] brings to these stories the same astounding talent that earned his two novels...devoted following." --Booklist "Supple and beautifully told tales...saturated with an intense sense of place, their vividness and authenticity are impossible to fake." --The San Diego Union-Tribune "Gay writes about old folks marvelously...[His] words ring like crystal..." --Washington Post Book World "As always, Gay's description and dialogue are amazing...Writing like this keeps you read." --Orlando Sentinel "After two stunning novels that combined the esoteric language of Cormac McCarthy with the subtle humor of Larry Brown, Gay delivers concise craft work in his first short-story collection...Much in the same way Erskine Caldwell created slice-of-life Southern stories that were full of humor, conflict, and even forbidden sensuality many years ago, so now does William Gay." --The Oregonian "[Gay's] strong words never fail to paint a precise picture...Fans of his novels will find lots of meaty reading here." --The Montgomery Adviser "Gay's characters come right up and bite you...[His] well-chosen words propel the reader straight through his 13 stories." --The Denver Post "Even Faulkner would have been proud to call these words his own." --The Atlanta Journal Constitution "Gay captivates with bristling tales of old men, bootleggers, and wife-beaters in rural Tennessee...his prose is as natural and pure as it comes." --Newsweek "This book will have you laughing, fearful, and utterly filled with suspense--often all within the same well-crafted story." --Southern Living "A literary country music song...With deft and lyrical prose he captures the poignancy of loss, isolation and double-fisted grief, of disappointment, rage, jealousy, violence, and heartbreak." Praise for Twilight "Think No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy and Deliverance by James Dickey...then double the impact." --Stephen King on naming Twilight the best book of 2007 in Entertainment Weekly "There is much to admire here: breathtaking, evocative writing and a dark, sardonic humor." -- USA Today "William Gay brings the daring of Flannery O'Connor and William Gaddis to his lush and violent surrealist yarns." --The Irish Times "This is Southern Gothic of the very darkest hue, dripping with atmosphere, sparkling with loquacity, and with occasional gleams of horrible humor. To be read in the broadest daylight." --The Times
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About William Gay

Born in Tennessee in 1941, William Gay was a construction worker who didn't begin publishing until well into his fifties. His works include, The Long Home, Provinces of Night, I Hate to See That Evening Sun Go Down, Wittgenstein's Lolita, and Twilight. His work has been adapted for the screen twice, That Evening Sun (2009) and Bloodworth (2010). Most recently, his debut novel has been optioned for film. He died in 2012.
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Rating details

1,121 ratings
3.27 out of 5 stars
5 10% (107)
4 31% (342)
3 41% (463)
2 15% (165)
1 4% (44)
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