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The Maid's Versionby Daniel Woodrell
Synopses & Reviews
The American master's first novel since Winter's Bone (2006) tells of a deadly dance hall fire and its impact over several generations.
Alma DeGeer Dunahew, the mother of three young boys, works as the maid for a prominent family in West Table, Missouri. Her husband is mostly absent, and, in 1929, her scandalous, beloved younger sister is one of the 42 killed in an explosion at the local dance hall. Who is to blame? Mobsters from St. Louis? The embittered local gypsies? The preacher who railed against the loose morals of the waltzing couples? Or could it have been a colossal accident?
Alma thinks she knows the answer — and that its roots lie in a dangerous love affair. Her dogged pursuit of justice makes her an outcast and causes a long-standing rift with her own son. By telling her story to her grandson, Alma finally gains some solace — and peace for her sister. He is advised to "Tell it. Go on and tell it" — tell the story of his family's struggles, suspicions, secrets, and triumphs.
"The Maid's Version is one more resplendent trophy on the shelf of an American master." The Daily Beast
"The Maid's Version is stunning. Daniel Woodrell writes flowing, cataclysmic prose with the irresistible aura of fate about it." Sam Shepard
"Further proof, as if we needed it, that Woodrell is a writer to cherish." Seattle Times
"Throughout this remarkable book, Woodrell is an unsentimental narrator of an era that is rendered both kinder and infinitely less forgiving than our own." NPR Books
"Woodrell captures the run-down, put-upon underbelly of America better than anyone, because he knows it better than anyone." Benjamin Percy, Esquire.com
"The Maid's Version will sweep readers away." USA Today
"A distinctive blend of lush metaphor and brisk storytelling."- Salon
"In fewer than 200 pages, but with a richness of theme and character worthy of the weightiest Victorian novel, Woodrell brings West Table to life in the varied experiences of its sons and daughters." Washington Post
"The Maid's Version is able to tell a community's history in stunning second-, third-, and even fourth-hand recollection." LA Review of Books
About the Author
Five of Daniel Woodrell's eight published novels have been selected as New York Times Notable Books of the Year. Tomato Red won the PEN West Award for the Novel in 1999. Woodrell lives in the Ozarks near the Arkansas line with his wife, Katie Estill.
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