I'm so happy to announce that Minrose Gwin will join us on Book Club Girl on Air on Monday, May 17th at 4 pm ET to discuss her forthcoming novel, The Queen of Palmyra. The Queen of Palmyra has been generating incredible buzz, even before it goes on sale next Tuesday, April 27th. Author Lee Smith has called it "the most powerful and also the most lyrical novel about race, racism, and denial in the American South since To Kill a Mockingbird.” Jill McCorkle has called it a brilliant and compelling novel... The beauty of the prose, the strength of voice and the sheer force of circumstance will hold the reader spellbound from beginning to end.”
In the turbulent southern summer of 1963, Millwood's white population steers clear of "Shake Rag," the black section of town. Young Florence Forrest is one of the few who crosses the line. The daughter of a burial insurance salesman with dark secrets and the town's "cake lady," whose backcountry bootleg runs lead further and further away from a brutal marriage, Florence attaches herself to her grandparents' longtime maid, Zenie Johnson. Named for Zenobia, Queen of Palmyra, Zenie treats the unwanted girl as just another chore, while telling her stories of the legendary queen's courage and cunning.
The more time Florence spends in Shake Rag, the more she recognizes how completely race divides her town, and her story, far from ordinary, bears witness to the truth and brutality of her times—a truth brought to a shattering conclusion when Zenie's vibrant college-student niece, Eva Greene, arrives that fateful Mississippi summer.
Minrose Gwin's The Queen of Palmyra is an unforgettable evocation of a time and a place in America—a nuanced, gripping story of race and identity.
Browse inside The Queen of Palmyra, look for Minrose Gwin on tour near you and check out the reading group guide. Set your reminder for the show on May 17th here. The first ten people to comment that they'd like to participate in the show on the 17th will receive a free copy of the book to read in preparation!