Alma DeGeer Dunahew, the mother of three young boys, works as the maid for a prominent citizen and his family in West Table, Missouri. Her husband is mostly absent, and, in 1929, her scandalous, beloved younger sister is one of the 42 killed in an explosion at the local dance hall. Who is to blame? Mobsters from St. Louis? The embittered local gypsies? The preacher who railed against the loose morals of the waltzing couples? Or could it have been a colossal accident?
Alma thinks she knows the answer - and that its roots lie in a dangerous love affair. Her dogged pursuit of justice makes her an outcast and causes a long-standing rift with her own son. By telling her story to her grandson, she finally gains some solace - and peace - for her sister. He is advised to "Tell it. Go on and tell it" - tell the story of his family's struggles, suspicions, secrets, and triumphs.
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"Starred Review. From an economy of poetic prose springs forth an emotionally volcanic story of family, justice, and the everlasting power of the truth." - Publishers Weekly
"Starred Review. A commanding fable about trespass and reconstruction from a titan of Southern fiction." - Kirkus
"With this book, Woodrell confirms his place among the literary masters.." - Booklist
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Daniel Woodrell was born and now lives in the Missouri Ozarks. He left school and enlisted in the Marines the week he turned seventeen, received his bachelor's degree at age twenty-seven, graduated from the Iowa Writer's Workshop, and spent a year on a Michener Fellowship. His five most recent novels were selected as New York Times Notable Books of the Year, and Tomato Red won the PEN West award for the novel in 1999. In 2010 his eighth novel, Winter's Bone, was adapted to film and nominated for four Academy Awards.
"Growing up in Missouri, seventy miles downriver from Hannibal, Mark Twain was handed to me early on, first or second grade, and captivated me for years, and forever, I reckon. Robert Louis Stevenson had his seasons with me just before my teens and I love him yet. There are...
Daniel Woodrell: wouDRELL
Blood at the Root
"A gripping, timely, and important examination of American racism."
- PW Starred Review
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