Live at Brookline Booksmith! Mary Elizabeth Pope with Jessica Keener
Live and in person at Brookline Booksmith! Celebrate the release of The Gods of Green County with Mary Elizabeth Pope, in conversation with Jessica Keener.
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Books will be available for purchase at the event, but you can ensure that you get a copy by preordering on the registration page. You can pick your book up after 5:30PM on the day of the event.
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The Gods of Green County
In 1926 in rural Green County, Arkansas, where cotton and poverty reign, young Coralee Harper hopes for a family and a place in her community, but when her brother Buddy is killed by a powerful sheriff, she can't recover from his death or the injustice of his loss. When she begins to spot her dead brother around town, she wonders—is she clairvoyant, mistaken, or is she losing her mind?
What Coralee can't fathom is that there are forces at work that threaten her and the very fabric of the town: Leroy Harrison, a newly minted, ambitious lawyer who makes a horrible mistake, landing him a judgeship and a guilty conscience for life; an evangelical preacher and his flock of snake-handling parishioners; the women of the town who, along with Coralee's own mother, make up their own kind of jury for Coralee's behavior; Sheriff Wiley Slocum who rules the entire field, harboring dark secrets of his own; and finally, Coralee's husband Earl, who tries to balance his work at the cotton gin with his fight for family and Coralee's life.
When Coralee ends up in a sanity hearing before Judge Leroy Harrison, the judge must decide both Coralee's fate and his own. The chain of events following his decision draws him more deeply into the sheriff's far-reaching sphere of influence, and reveals the destructive nature of power, even—and especially—his own.
Mary Elizabeth Pope is Professor of English at Emmanuel College in Boston with roots in Michigan, the Missouri Bootheel, and Northeast Arkansas. Her collection of short fiction, Divining Venus: Stories, was published by The Waywiser Press, and her work has appeared in the literary magazines Arkansas Review, Florida Review, Bellingham Review, Fugue, PoemMemoirStory, Ascent, Passages North, and many others.
Moderator Jessica Keener is the author of two novels and a story collection. Her novel Night Swim was a national bestseller. Strangers in Budapest was a 2017 Indie Next Pick, an Entertainment Weekly “best new book,” and a Southern Independent bestseller. Her features have appeared in The Boston Globe, WBUR’s Cognoscenti, and the anthology Alone Together: Love, Grief, and Comfort in the Time of COVID-19.