William Gay is an author of Southern Gothics recommended to me by my friend, Marialyce. Gay passed away in 2012, and numerous unpublished manuscripts were found in his home, including The Lost Country, which was published on July 10, 2018 by Dzanc Books.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
4 brilliant, Southern Gothic stars to The Lost Country! 🌙 🌙 🌙 🌙
Thank you to my friend, Marialyce, for recommending William Gay’s books to me and telling me about this new release. I was not aware when I downloaded it that the author passed away several years ago, and this previously unpublished novel was discovered among other works.
Billy Edgewater’s father is terminally ill, and while Billy has been the black sheep of the family, he is desperate to travel home to see his father. He hitchhikes to East Tennessee, and along the way, he meets several wily, unsavory, predatory characters.
All the unfortunate things that could possibly happen along the way do. Billy wants nothing more than to make it home in time to have last words with his father, but is “home” a figment of his imagination, or a place long forgotten since he left?
The Lost Country is dark, as Southern Gothic tales are. It is gritty and grisly, and in contrast to that is the most alluring writing. I would read a sentence over and over again to absorb it all and admire the nuance. The prose manages to be sparse and so deliciously intense and descriptive at the same time. Highly recommend!
Thank you to Dzanc Books and Edelweiss for the complimentary copy. The Lost Country is available now.
View all my reviews
Ten years after it was first announced, Dzanc is proud to deliver the lost novel from a master of the Southern Gothic—the work William Gay fans have anticipated for a decade.
Billy Edgewater is a harbinger of doom. Estranged from his family, discharged from the Navy, and touched by a rising desperation, he sets out hitchhiking home to East Tennessee, where his father is slowly dying.
On the road separately are Sudy and Bradshaw, brother and sister, and a one-armed con man named Roosterfish. All, in one way or another, have their pasts and futures embroiled with D.L. Harkness, a predator in all the ways there are. Hounded at every turn by scams, vigilantes, grievous loss, and unspeakable violence, Edgewater navigates the long road home, searching for a place that may be nothing but memory.
Hailed as “a seemingly effortless storyteller” by the New York Times Book Review and “a writer of striking talent” by the Chicago Tribune, William Gay, with this long-awaited novel, secures his place alongside Faulkner, O’Connor and McCarthy as one of the greatest novelists in the Southern Gothic tradition.