Author(s): Cheng, Bill
In the tradition of Cormac McCarthy and Flannery O'Connor, Bill Cheng leads the new generation of American greats. As the Great Flood of 1927 bursts the levees of Mississippi and sweeps away rural homes, 8-year-old Robert Chatham is separated from his parents and his friends, Dora and GD. He is entirely alone. Robert's adventures through the brooding swamplands, from the infamous brothel at the Hotel Beau-Miel to imprisonment by hunters, are full of danger, endurance and courage. And as the days roll into years, this small lost boy becomes a young, tough man. At the edge of his vision, following him everywhere, is the black dog of melancholy. But there is love, too, and brutal beauty - and, at last, at the tender age of twenty, a kind of homecoming. This astonishing debut novel is epic in every sense. Inspired by the delta blues, it builds, against a landscape of myth and menace, a story of loss, tenacity, and great humanity that will resonate everywhere.
Bill Cheng is a Chinese-American novelist who has studied with Colum McCann, Peter Carey, and Nathan Englander. This is his first novel.