Where the Dead Sit Talking Summary and Reviews

Where the Dead Sit Talking

by Brandon Hobson

Where the Dead Sit Talking by Brandon Hobson X
Where the Dead Sit Talking by Brandon Hobson
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  • Published in USA  Feb 2018
    288 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

Set in rural Oklahoma during the late 1980s, Where the Dead Sit Talking is a startling, authentically voiced and lyrically written Native American coming-of-age story.

With his single mother in jail, Sequoyah, a fifteen-year-old Cherokee boy, is placed in foster care with the Troutt family. Literally and figuratively scarred by his mother's years of substance abuse, Sequoyah keeps mostly to himself, living with his emotions pressed deep below the surface. At least until he meets seventeen-year-old Rosemary, another youth staying with the Troutts.

Sequoyah and Rosemary bond over their shared Native American background and tumultuous paths through the foster care system, but as Sequoyah's feelings toward Rosemary deepen, the precariousness of their lives and the scars of their pasts threaten to undo them both.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Hobson's narrative control is stunning, carrying the reader through scenes and timelines with verbal grace and sparse detail. Far more than a mere coming-of-age story, this is a remarkable and moving novel." - Publishers Weekly

"Hobson's eloquent prose and story line will keep literary and general fiction readers turning pages. Its teen protagonists offer interest for young adults." - Library Journal

"Hobson presents a painfully visceral drama about the overlooked lives of those struggling on the periphery of mainstream society." - Booklist

"Where the Dead Sit Talking is a tender and unflinching look at shell-shocked young lives as they try in the eddies of foster care to keep their heads above water. Hobson writes with a humane authority but without giving his characters any alibis ... A wonderful, harrowing novel." - Brian Evenson, author of The Open Curtain

"I fear and ferociously admire everything Brandon Hobson creates ... Sequoyah, his scars, and eye makeup will leave you with wide eyes and a brimming heart." - Chiara Barzini, author of Things That Happened Before the Earthquake

"Where the Dead Sit Talking is a sensitive and searching exploration of a youth forged in turbulence, in the endless aftermath of displacement and loss. Sequoyah's voice is powerfully singular - both wounded and wounding - and this novel is a thrilling confirmation of Brandon Hobson's immense gifts on the page." - Laura van den Berg, author of Find Me

"Weird and intimate, like Ottessa Moshfegh's Eileen, Where the Dead Sit Talking takes us to a strange, dangerous place normally kept hidden. From the opening hook, with the unhurried authority of a master, Brandon Hobson initiates the reader into the secret lives of lost and unwanted teenagers trying to survive in an uncaring world. Creepy, sad, yet queerly thrilling." - Stewart O'Nan, author of The Speed Queen

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Brandon Hobson is a recipient of a 2016 Pushcart Prize, and his writing has appeared in such places as Conjunctions, NOON, The Paris Review Daily, the Believer, and elsewhere. He is the author of Desolation of Avenues Untold, Deep Ellum, and The Levitationist.

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