The Gone Dead

The Gone Dead

3.45 (3,642 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.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 304 pages
  • 140 x 213 x 30mm | 408g
  • English
  • 0062490699
  • 9780062490698
  • 1,759,747

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

"Beautifully written throughout.... Enthralling.... Recalling Lalita Tademy's Cane River, this work will appeal to lovers of African American, Southern, and historical fiction."--Library Journal (starred review)
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Rating details

3,642 ratings
3.45 out of 5 stars
5 12% (431)
4 36% (1,319)
3 39% (1,437)
2 11% (385)
1 2% (70)
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