The Gone Dead
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The Gone Dead

3.44 (2,801 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

A TONIGHT SHOW SUMMER READS FINALIST

An electrifying first novel from a riveting new voice in American fiction (George Saunders): A young woman returns to her childhood home in the American South and uncovers secrets about her father's life and death



Billie James' inheritance isn't much: a little money and a shack in the Mississippi Delta. The house once belonged to her father, a renowned black poet who died unexpectedly when Billie was four years old. Though Billie was there when the accident happened, she has no memory of that day--and she hasn't been back to the South since.

Thirty years later, Billie returns but her father's home is unnervingly secluded: her only neighbors are the McGees, the family whose history has been entangled with hers since the days of slavery. As Billie encounters the locals, she hears a strange rumor: that she herself went missing on the day her father died. As the mystery intensifies, she finds out that this forgotten piece of her past could put her in danger.

Inventive, gritty, and openhearted, The Gone Dead is an astonishing debut novel about race, justice, and memory that lays bare the long-concealed wounds of a family and a country.

--Publishers Weekly
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Product details

  • Hardback | 304 pages
  • 140 x 213 x 30mm | 408g
  • English
  • 0062490699
  • 9780062490698
  • 1,269,656

Flap copy

Billie James's inheritance isn't much: a little money and a shack in the Mississippi Delta. The house once belonged to her father, a renowned black poet who died unexpectedly when Billie was four years old. Though Billie was there when the accident happened, she has no memory of that day--and she hasn't been back to the South since.

Thirty years later, Billie returns, but her father's home is unnervingly secluded; her only neighbors are the McGees, a family whose history has been entangled with hers since the days of slavery. As Billie encounters the locals, she hears a strange rumor: that she herself went missing on the day her father died. As the mystery intensifies, she finds out that this forgotten piece of her past could put her in danger.

Inventive, gritty, and openhearted, The Gone Dead is an astonishing story of race, justice, and memory that lays bare the long-concealed wounds of a family and a country. It's also an unforgettable debut novel that solidifies Chanelle Benz's place as "a riveting new voice in American fiction" (George Saunders).

--Chapter 16
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Back cover copy

Billie James's inheritance isn't much: a little money and a shack in the Mississippi Delta. The house once belonged to her father, a renowned black poet who died unexpectedly when Billie was four years old. Though Billie was there when the accident happened, she has no memory of that day--and she hasn't been back to the South since.

Thirty years later, Billie returns, but her father's home is unnervingly secluded; her only neighbors are the McGees, a family whose history has been entangled with hers since the days of slavery. As Billie encounters the locals, she hears a strange rumor: that she herself went missing on the day her father died. As the mystery intensifies, she finds out that this forgotten piece of her past could put her in danger.

Inventive, gritty, and openhearted, The Gone Dead is an astonishing story of race, justice, and memory that lays bare the long-concealed wounds of a family and a country. It's also an unforgettable debut novel that solidifies Chanelle Benz's place as "a riveting new voice in American fiction" (George Saunders).
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Review quote

"[Benz] captures human interaction with the polish of a seasoned dramatist, armed with a bevy of tools -- a feel for smooth dialogue; a rich sense of place; a knowledge of history and its impact on individuals, families, and communities -- that charge her words with authenticity.... Note-perfect."--Entertainment Weekly
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Rating details

2,801 ratings
3.44 out of 5 stars
5 11% (309)
4 36% (1,019)
3 40% (1,120)
2 11% (302)
1 2% (51)
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