The week’s pick—Southern Cross the Dog by Bill Cheng—is a literary fiction debut that’s tough, lyrical, historical . . . great. It reminds us of an author that is near and dear to our hearts: Cormac McCarthy. Cheng writes with precision and engagement; the human relationships articulated through his story and characters are visceral and revealing.
In the tradition of Cormac McCarthy and Flannery O’Connor, an epic debut in which the bonds between three childhood friends is upended by the Great Flood of 1927 in Mississippi and in its aftermath one must choose between the lure of the future and the claims of the past (from the publisher).
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Bill Cheng received a B.A. in Creative Writing from Baruch College and is a graduate of Hunter College’s MFA program. Born and raised in Queens, New York, he currently lives in Brooklyn with his wife. Southern Cross the Dog is his first novel.
“With its evocative settings and rich McCarthyesque language, this Southern gothic packs a punch like a mean drunk.”
— Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Vividly imagined, frequently poetic. . . . It’s hard to resist the sweep of Southern history . . . the way [Cheng] makes the devil as palpably real as the natural world that he pervades. . . . A strong voice and a compelling achievement.”
— Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“A novel in the great Southern tradition; think Cormac McCarthy or a 21st-century Faulkner. . . . This book is a winner for lovers of plot; tough, lyrical writing; history; and the trials of the deep South.”
— Library Journal (starred review)