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The Maid's Version by Daniel Woodrell
  

Sarah Broadhurst's view...

Taking the true events of a 1929 explosion at a Missouri dance hall as its inspiration, this is a captivating and gripping mystery and poignant look at American life. Narrated mostly by Alec who as a 10 year old listens whilst his grandmother recounts what she believes caused the explosion that killed 42 including her sister and has haunted her for nearly 40 years. Sparse, stark, short and powerful this is literature at its finest.

If you like Daniel Woodrell you might also like to read books by Tom Franklin, Cormac Mccarthy and Philip Meyer.

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Synopsis

The Maid's Version by Daniel Woodrell

In 1929, an explosion in a Missouri dance hall killed forty-two people. Who was to blame? Mobsters from St Louis? Embittered gypsies? The preacher who cursed the waltzing couples for their sins? Or could it just have been a colossal accident? Alma Dunahew, whose scandalous younger sister was among the dead, believes the answer lies in a dangerous love affair, but no one will listen to a maid from the wrong side of the tracks. It is only decades later that her grandson hears her version of events - and must decide if it is the right one.

Reviews

Daniel Woodrell is the American writer we increasingly look to for the latest urgent news on the American soul. The Maid's Version is a beautiful engine of a novel, whose cogs were not entirely made by human agency, one might hazard to say. As regards the level of reading pleasure, the highest. As regards the level of literary achievement, the highest. - Sebastian Barry, author of On Canaan's Side

The Maid's Version is stunning. Daniel Woodrell writes flowing, cataclysmic prose with the irresistible aura of fate about it. - Sam Shepard

Under the grisly, seductive, colloquial tone is a very unusual thing - a communitarian novel: a novel concerned with how we live - and sometimes die - together, how we share experiences through the rituals of speaking and writing, because that is the fundamental spirit and purpose of language. - Sarah Hall, Guardian

About the Author

Daniel Woodrell was born in the Missouri Ozarks, where he still lives. He left school and enlisted in the Marines the week he turned seventeen, and received his BA at the age of twenty-seven. He also has an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop. He is the author of eight novels including Winter's Bone, the film of which was nominated for four Oscars in 2011, Woe to Live On, the basis for the film Ride with the Devil directed by Ang Lee, and Tomato Red, which won the PEN West Award for fiction in 1999. Five of his novels have been selected as New York Times Notable Books of the year. His most recent book was the story collection The Outlaw Album, published by Sceptre in 2011.

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Book Info

Publication date

5th June 2014

Author

Daniel Woodrell

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Publisher

Sceptre an imprint of Hodder & Stoughton General Division

Format

Paperback
176 pages

Categories

Literary Fiction
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eBook Favourites

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)

ISBN

9781444732856

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