A not-to-be-missed discussion featuring two of the most exciting debut novels of the year, immigrant stories of an adventure tale across the gold rush–era American West, and the trials of football and faith in a modern Alabama high school. These debut novels are wholly new coming-of-age tales which reinvent the cowboy story and the Southern Gothic.
C Pam Zhang’s How Much of These Hills Is Gold is set against the twilight of the American gold rush, when two siblings are on the run in an unforgiving landscape—trying not just to survive but to find a home. Both epic and intimate, blending Chinese symbolism and reimagined history with fiercely original language and storytelling, How Much of These Hills Is Gold is a haunting adventure story and an unforgettable sibling story, exploring race in an expanding country and where immigrants are allowed to belong, the memories that bind and divide families, and the yearning for home.
In Genevieve Hudson’s bewitching debut novel, Boys of Alabama, a sensitive teen, newly arrived in Alabama, falls in love, questions his faith, and navigates a strange power. While his German parents don’t know what to make of a South pining for the past, shy Max thrives in the thick heat. Taken in by the football team, he learns how to catch a spiraling ball, how to point a gun, and how to hide his innermost secrets. Boys of Alabama becomes a nuanced portrait of masculinity, religion, immigration, and the adolescent pressures that require total conformity.
PURCHASE BOYS OF ALABAMA | HOW MUCH OF THESE HILLS IS GOLD | LONG LIVE THE TRIBE OF FATHERLESS GIRLS
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Originally from Alabama, Genevieve Hudson earned an MFA from Portland State University and has received Fulbright, MacDowell, and Vermont Studio Center fellowships. She is the author of Pretend We Live Here: Stories, and lives in Portland, Oregon. Boys of Alabama is her debut novel.