Winner of the 2016 Pen Faulkner Award for Fiction
Synopses & Reviews
Held captive by her employers — and by her own demons — on a mysterious farm, a widow struggles to reunite with her young son in this uniquely American story of freedom, perseverance, and survival.
Darlene, a widow and mother devastated by the unforeseen death of her husband, turns to drugs to erase the trauma. While in this fog of grief, she is lured with the promise of a great job to a mysterious farm run by a shady company — with disastrous consequences for both her and her young son, Eddie, who is left behind in a panic-stricken search for her.
Delicious Foods tells the gripping story of three unforgettable characters: a mother, her son, and the drug that threatens to destroy them. In Darlene's haunted struggle to reunite with Eddie, in the efforts of both to triumph over those who would enslave them, and in the voice of the drug that narrates Darlene's travails, Hannaham's daring and shape-shifting prose not only infuses the desperate circumstances of his characters with grace and humor, but also wrestles with timeless questions of love and freedom, forgiveness and redemption, tenacity and the will to survive.
"This is a book of astonishing originality and power. In Delicious Foods, James Hannaham has created a wholly new world — a hallucinatory place shot through with struggle and terrible deeds — but one never lacking light or hope. Hannaham reinvents the Southern gothic with prose at once brutal and lyrical and drop-dead gorgeous. This is a hell of a novel." Dave Eggers, author of A Hologram for the King and The Circle
An inventive feat of storytelling bravado that captures the pathos and absurdity of addiction as it comes between a mother and her son.
Darlene, once a loving mother to her young son, Eddie, is devastated by her husband's death. In a fog of grief, she turns to drugs, quickly forming an addiction. One day she disappears without a trace.
Unbeknownst to Eddie, Darlene has been lured away with false promises of a good job. A shady company named Delicious Foods shuttles her to a remote farm, where she is held captive and forced to perform hard labor.
Delicious Foods tells the gripping story of three unforgettable characters: a mother, her son, and the drug whose irreverent and mischievous voice narrates Darlene's travails. This compassionate story about the unbreakable bond between mother and son wrestles with timeless questions of love and freedom, forgiveness and redemption, tenacity and the will to survive.
About the Author
James Hannaham is the author of the novel God Says No, which was honored by the American Library Association. He holds an MFA from the Michener Center at the University of Texas at Austin, and lives in Brooklyn, where he teaches creative writing at the Pratt Institute.