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Mudbound: A Novel

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Mudbound: A Novel Cover

ISBN13: 9781565125698
ISBN10: 156512569x
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Awards

2006 Bellwether Prize for Fiction

Synopses & Reviews

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Publisher Comments:

In Jordan's prize-winning debut, prejudice takes many forms, both subtle and brutal. It is 1946, and city-bred Laura McAllan is trying to raise her children on her husband's Mississippi Delta farm — a place she finds foreign and frightening. In the midst of the family's struggles, two young men return from the war to work the land. Jamie McAllan, Laura's brother-in-law, is everything her husband is not — charming, handsome, and haunted by his memories of combat. Ronsel Jackson, eldest son of the black sharecroppers who live on the McAllan farm, has come home with the shine of a war hero. But no matter his bravery in defense of his country, he is still considered less than a man in the Jim Crow South. It is the unlikely friendship of these brothers-in-arms that drives this powerful novel to its inexorable conclusion.

The men and women of each family relate their versions of events and we are drawn into their lives as they become players in a tragedy on the grandest scale. As Kingsolver says of Hillary Jordan, "Her characters walked straight out of 1940s Mississippi and into the part of my brain where sympathy and anger and love reside, leaving my heart racing. They are with me still."

Review:

"Hillary Jordan's first novel, 'Mudbound,' arrives emblazoned with the Bellwether Prize, a biennial award established in 1999 by Barbara Kingsolver 'to support a literature of social responsibility.' That sounds like wearing a 'Kick Me' sign on the literary playground, but sneer all you want, O Decadent Literati. These judges know that 'social commentary in our art is frequently viewed with suspicion,'... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Review:

"[A] sophisticated, complex first novel." Booklist (Starred Review)

Review:

"Mudbound, an ambitious and affecting debut, may very well become a staple of syllabi for courses in Southern literature. It is accessible, engaging and spiked with suspense." Paste Magazine

Review:

"[A] poignant and moving debut novel....Jordan faultlessly portrays the values of the 1940s as she builds to a stunning conclusion. Highly recommended." Library Journal

Review:

"The perils of country living are brought to light in a confidently executed novel." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"A real page turner — a tangle of history, tragedy and romance powered by guilt, moral indignation and a near chorus of unstoppable voices. Any reader will appreciate the overlap of forbidden loves and deadly secrets." Stewart O'Nan

Synopsis:

Winner of the Bellwether Prize for Fiction, Mudbound is storytelling at the height of its powers: "the ache of wrongs not yet made right, the fierce attendance of history made real" (Barbara Kingsolver), as men and women from two families become players in a tragedy on the grandest scale.

Synopsis:

A gripping and exquisitely rendered story of forbidden love, betrayal, and murder, set against the brutality of the Jim Crow South.

When Henry McAllan moves his city-bred wife, Laura, to a cotton farm in the Mississippi Delta in 1946, she finds herself in a place both foreign and frightening. Laura does not share Henry's love of rural life, and she struggles to raise their two young children in an isolated shotgun shack with no indoor plumbing or electricity, all the while under the eye of her hateful, racist father-in-law. When it rains, the waters rise up and swallow the bridge to town, stranding the family in a sea of mud.

As the McAllans are being tested in every way, two celebrated soldiers of World War II return home to help work the farm. Jamie McAllan is everything his older brother Henry is not: charming, handsome, and sensitive to Laura's plight, but also haunted by his memories of combat. Ronsel Jackson, eldest son of the black sharecroppers who live on the McAllan farm, comes home from fighting the Nazis with the shine of a war hero, only to face far more personal—and dangerous—battles against the ingrained bigotry of his own countrymen. It is the unlikely friendship of these two brothers-in-arms, and the passions they arouse in others, that drive this powerful debut novel. Mudbound reveals how everyone becomes a player in a tragedy on the grandest scale, even as they strive for love and honor.

Jordan's indelible portrayal of two families caught up in the blind hatred of a small Southern town earned the prestigious Bellwether Prize for Fiction, awarded biennially to a first literary novel that addresses issues of social injustice.

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About the Author

Hillary Jordan grew up in Dallas, Texas, and Muskogee, Oklahoma, and received her MFA in fiction from Columbia University. Mudbound, her first novel, was awarded the 2006 Bellwether Prize, founded by Barbara Kingsolver to recognize literature of social responsibility.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 5 comments:

onsiesta, January 1, 2011 (view all comments by onsiesta)
My fav read of 2010
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(2 of 3 readers found this comment helpful)
Daniel Hatch, March 19, 2010 (view all comments by Daniel Hatch)
A fantastic read, the varying POV style lets you relive events from the perspective of serveral of the major characters. Well deserving of its award. You won't be disappointed.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(4 of 6 readers found this comment helpful)
katatrina, August 5, 2008 (view all comments by katatrina)
This was just as good as NPR promised it would be. Hillary Jordan is great at delivering the different voices that this book is told in, and the story is rich and well-developed. Sometimes when a book is told in parts by different people, I want to skip ahead to the next section told by one of them, but in this book I didn't have that problem.
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(16 of 33 readers found this comment helpful)
View all 5 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9781565125698
Author:
Jordan, Hillary
Publisher:
Algonquin Books
Subject:
Historical - General
Subject:
Historical
Subject:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Discrimination and Race Relations
Subject:
World war, 1939-1945
Subject:
Farm life
Subject:
Historical fiction
Subject:
World War, 1939-1945 -- Veterans.
Subject:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Discrimination & Race Relations
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Hardback
Publication Date:
March 4, 2008
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
336
Dimensions:
8.5 x 5.5 in

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

Mudbound: A Novel Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$3.50 In Stock
Product details 336 pages Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill - English 9781565125698 Reviews:
"Review" by , "[A] sophisticated, complex first novel."
"Review" by , "Mudbound, an ambitious and affecting debut, may very well become a staple of syllabi for courses in Southern literature. It is accessible, engaging and spiked with suspense."
"Review" by , "[A] poignant and moving debut novel....Jordan faultlessly portrays the values of the 1940s as she builds to a stunning conclusion. Highly recommended."
"Review" by , "The perils of country living are brought to light in a confidently executed novel."
"Review" by , "A real page turner — a tangle of history, tragedy and romance powered by guilt, moral indignation and a near chorus of unstoppable voices. Any reader will appreciate the overlap of forbidden loves and deadly secrets."
"Synopsis" by , Winner of the Bellwether Prize for Fiction, Mudbound is storytelling at the height of its powers: "the ache of wrongs not yet made right, the fierce attendance of history made real" (Barbara Kingsolver), as men and women from two families become players in a tragedy on the grandest scale.
"Synopsis" by , A gripping and exquisitely rendered story of forbidden love, betrayal, and murder, set against the brutality of the Jim Crow South.

When Henry McAllan moves his city-bred wife, Laura, to a cotton farm in the Mississippi Delta in 1946, she finds herself in a place both foreign and frightening. Laura does not share Henry's love of rural life, and she struggles to raise their two young children in an isolated shotgun shack with no indoor plumbing or electricity, all the while under the eye of her hateful, racist father-in-law. When it rains, the waters rise up and swallow the bridge to town, stranding the family in a sea of mud.

As the McAllans are being tested in every way, two celebrated soldiers of World War II return home to help work the farm. Jamie McAllan is everything his older brother Henry is not: charming, handsome, and sensitive to Laura's plight, but also haunted by his memories of combat. Ronsel Jackson, eldest son of the black sharecroppers who live on the McAllan farm, comes home from fighting the Nazis with the shine of a war hero, only to face far more personal—and dangerous—battles against the ingrained bigotry of his own countrymen. It is the unlikely friendship of these two brothers-in-arms, and the passions they arouse in others, that drive this powerful debut novel. Mudbound reveals how everyone becomes a player in a tragedy on the grandest scale, even as they strive for love and honor.

Jordan's indelible portrayal of two families caught up in the blind hatred of a small Southern town earned the prestigious Bellwether Prize for Fiction, awarded biennially to a first literary novel that addresses issues of social injustice.

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