A stunning, contemporary Black Southern Gothic debut novel by a breakout new Affrilachian writer
“A new, dazzling, and essential American voice.” —George Saunders, author of Lincoln in the Bardo, winner of The Booker Prize
“Mystical, carnal, and written in fire, House of Cotton ushers Monica Brashears straight onto American lit’s mainstage, which she should grace for a long time.” —Jonathan Dee, author of The Privileges, winner of the Prix Fitzgerald
Nineteen years old, broke, and effectively an orphan, Magnolia doesn’t have much to look forward to. She feels stuck and haunted: by her overdrawn bank account, by her predatory landlord, by the ghost of her late grandmother Mama Brown.
One night while working at her dead-end gas station job, a mysterious, slick stranger named Cotton walks in and offers to turn Magnolia’s luck around. He offers her a lucrative “modeling” job at his family’s funeral home. Magnolia accepts. But despite things looking up, Magnolia’s problems fatten along with her wallet. When Cotton’s requests become increasingly weird, Magnolia discovers there’s a lot more at stake than just her rent.
Sharp as a belted knife, this sly social commentary cuts straight to the bone, revealing the aftermath of the American plantation and what it means to be poor, Black, and a woman in the God fearing south. Impossible to put down, Brashears’s House of Cotton will keep you mesmerized until the very last page.