May 2010 Indie Next List
“WOW. What an incredible writer. Minrose Gwin uses words the way an artist uses paint, adding layers upon layers as she tells the story of young Florence Irene Forrest. Her family returns home to a small, segregated Alabama town in the 1960s, her father is holding secrets, her mother bakes cakes and is barely holding on, and she is a little girl holding on to her dream of a happy ending for her story. Florence spends her time listening, watching and waiting to be ready for whatever is headed her way. Her attention to the details in the people around her and the way she perceives herself as seen by others, leads to one heart wrenching phrase, I”
— Nona Camuel, CoffeeTree Books, Morehead, KY
“The most powerful and also the most lyrical novel about race, racism, and denial in the American South since To Kill a Mockingbird.”
— Lee Smith, author of On Agate Hill
“Exquisitely beautiful… The novel grips the reader from its first page and relentlessly drives us to its conclusion.”
— William Ferris, author of Give My Poor Heart Ease: Voices of the Mississippi Blues
An atmospheric debut novel about growing up in the changing South in 1960s Mississippi in the tradition of Sue Monk Kidd’s The Secret Life of Bees and Kathryn Stockett’s The Help. In the words of Jill McCorkle (Going Away Shoes), “Minrose Gwin is an extremely gifted writer and The Queen of Palmyra is a brilliant and compelling novel.”
About the Author
Minrose Gwin is the author of three novels: The Queen of Palmyra, Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers pick and finalist for the John Gardner Fiction Book Award; Promise, finalist for the Willie Morris Award in Southern Literature; and The Accidentals. In her memoir, Wishing for Snow, she writes about the convergence of poetry and psychosis in her mother’s life. Wearing another hat, she has written four books of literary and cultural criticism and history, most recently Remembering Medgar Evers: Writing the Long Civil Rights Movement, and coedited The Literature of the American South, a Norton anthology. Minrose began her career as a newspaper reporter. Since then, she has taught as a professor at universities across the country, most recently the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She currently lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Like the characters in Promise, she grew up in Tupelo, Mississippi.
...a brilliant and compelling novel... The beauty of the prose, the strength of voice and the sheer force of circumstance will hold the reader spellbound from beginning to end.”
— Jill McCorkle, author of THE GOING AWAY SHOES
The most powerful and also the most lyrical novel about race, racism, and denial in the American South since To Kill A Mockingbird....A story about knowing and not knowing, The Queen of Palmyra is finally a testament to the ultimate power of truth and knowledge, language and love.
— Lee Smith, author of ON AGATE HILL
Divert your reader and, and then “clobber” them, advised Flannery O’Connor. In this bold and brilliant book, Minrose Gwin diverts us with the affecting voice of a child and then clobbers us with the ugly truths of our collective past. I can almost hear O’Connor cheering.
— Sharon Oard Warner, author of Deep in the Heart