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Southern Cross the Dog

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Description

In the tradition of Cormac McCarthy and Flannery O’Connor, Bill Cheng’s Southern Cross the Dog is an epic literary debut in which the bonds between three childhood friends are upended by the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927. In its aftermath, one young man must choose between the lure of the future and the claims of the past.
 
Having lost virtually everything in the fearsome storm—home, family, first love—Robert Chatham embarks on an odyssey that takes him through the deep South, from the desperation of a refugee camp to the fiery and raucous brothel Hotel Beau-Miel and into the Mississippi hinterland, where he joins a crew hired to clear the swamp and build a dam.

Along his journey he encounters piano-playing hustlers, ne’er-do-well Klansmen, well-intentioned whores, and a family of fur trappers, the L’Etangs, whose very existence is threatened by the swamp-clearing around them. The L’Etang brothers are fierce and wild but there is something soft about their cousin Frankie, possibly the only woman capable of penetrating Robert’s darkest places and overturning his conviction that he’s marked by the devil.

Teeming with language that renders both the savage beauty and complex humanity of our shared past, Southern Cross the Dog is a tour de force that heralds the arrival of a major new voice in fiction.

From Publishers Weekly

Mar 18, 2013 – Charged with a swampy sense of foreboding, Cheng s debut novel is set in the early 20th century, in a mythic South populated by leather-clad backwoodsmen, a kind madam, and a barrelhouse piano player with a mojo bag. Robert Lee Chatham, survivor of a massive flood, grows up working in a brothel. A fall off a roof brings him into contact with bluesman Eli Cutter, who warns, Bad and trouble is set to follow you through this earth. As an adult, Robert works on a swamp dig crew until the day he impulsively jumps into a river and is swept away. He s rescued by a family of feral swamp trappers, only to be abused until he nearly dies. Eventually he s able to slit the throat of one of his captors and flee, ending up in a small town where he reunites with childhood friends Dora and G.D. The three form a happy family of sorts, yet Robert still feels himself slipping into that place of lost and losing. With its evocative settings and rich McCarthyesque language, this Southern gothic packs a punch like a mean drunk.
Southern Cross the Dog
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  • $10.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Historical
  • Published: May 07, 2013
  • Publisher: Ecco
  • Seller: HarperCollins
  • Print Length: 336 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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