House of Cotton: A Novel (Paperback)

House of Cotton: A Novel By Monica Brashears Cover Image

House of Cotton: A Novel (Paperback)

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NPR BEST BOOK OF 2023 An enchanting Black Southern gothic debut, perfect for readers of Mexican Gothic... "Fresh, haunting...In her roller-coaster ride of a gothic debut novel, Monica Brashears upends expectations at every turn." —The New York Times

“Every page, every scene, every sentence of Monica Brashears’s debut novel House of Cotton dazzles and surprises. An intense, enthralling, and deeply satisfying read!” —Deesha Philyaw, author of The Secret Lives of Church Ladies

"A new, dazzling, and essential American voice." —George Saunders, author of Lincoln in the Bardo

One night, while working at her dead-end gas station job, Magnolia Brown encounters a mysterious, slick stranger named Cotton. He offers to turn her luck around with a lucrative “modeling” job at his family’s funeral home—where she will pose as clients’ dead loved ones. She accepts. Despite earning more than she’s ever made, Magnolia finds that her problems are fattening along with her wallet. And when Cotton’s requests become increasingly strange, Magnolia discovers there’s a lot more at stake than just her rent.

This roller-coaster ride of a novel upends expectations at every turn. A bold new talent in the gothic tradition but with a style all her own, “Brashears offers a fresh new perspective on Appalachia and the American South, and Magnolia’s rich voice will echo with readers long after the pages are closed” (Shelf Awareness).

Monica Brashears is an Affrilachian writer from Tennessee. She is a graduate of Syracuse University's MFA program. Her work has appeared in Nashville Review, Split Lip Magazine, Appalachian Review, The Masters Review, and more. House of Cotton is her first novel.
Product Details ISBN: 9781250851932
ISBN-10: 1250851939
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Publication Date: April 2nd, 2024
Pages: 304
Language: English

A Most Anticipated Book of 2023: Bustle, PopSugar, Gizmodo, Book Riot, Debutiful, CrimeReads, and more!

"This is the story of someone trying to get free in a world where the paths toward freedom are winding, dark – and filled with tricksters and wolves. And Magnolia is a complex heroine, drawn to dark shadows even as she relentlessly seeks out the light." NPR (Best Books of 2023)

"Lush and gorgeous — and evidence of a new and decisive talent in Monica Brashears... Brashears employs language like a knife, cutting and shaping with remarkable dexterity, and the result is a wonderwork of a first book. This is a novel that sweats and broods, a story where something fretful is always boiling just under the surface." Nashville Scene

"Magnetic, singular and completely unforgettable." —New York Times

"House of Cotton is dazzling, full of surprises, and told with a voice that's unpredictable and, more importantly, that lingers. Fans of brave fiction would be remiss to skip this one." —NPR

"Startling, vivid, and impressive... Brashears has written a lush, pictorial, and often steamy novel with an indelible heroine. Coupling classic gothic elements with a realistic portrayal of the issues facing a young, poor, Black woman with few options, the novel’s many strengths culminate in a powerful and original story that will appeal to a variety of readers across fiction genres." Booklist

"[A] haunting and macabre debut... Magnolia is a wonderfully complex character." Publishers Weekly

"A lyrical fever dream of a novel."Kirkus

"Mythic, agile, and alluring all at once." Bustle

"Delightfully morbid." —PopSugar

"[A] lush and lyrical debut." —Shondaland

"A haunting and sly Southern Gothic with plenty of things to say about race, gender, and appropriation." —CrimeReads

"A novel for anyone who loved Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward." —Debutiful

“Brashears takes Magnolia's story in an array of beautifully poetic and surprisingly artful directions and—by the time it's over—we see that she has something wholly unique to say about race in America. Magnolia's distinctive voice will stay with you long after her story on the page is over.” —Isaac Fitzgerald

“[A] lush and lyrical debut." Shondaland

"Lush and gorgeous — and evidence of a new and decisive talent in Monica Brashears... Brashears employs language like a knife, cutting and shaping with remarkable dexterity, and the result is a wonderwork of a first book. This is a novel that sweats and broods, a story where something fretful is always boiling just under the surface." —Nashville Scene

"Brashears offers a fresh new perspective on Appalachia and the American South, and Magnolia's rich voice will echo with readers long after the pages are closed." —Julia Kastner, Shelf Awareness

A beautiful book about the strange contours of grief.” —Raven Leilani, author of Luster, winner of the NBCC John Leonard Prize

"Monica Brashears is a stunning new talent. Her debut, House of Cotton, is an incredible work of harsh beauty and a novel you won't forget." —Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah, New York Times bestselling author of Friday Black

"Monica Brashears is an immense talent, and her enchanting, strikingly original prose will astonish you. Magnolia is such a vivid, tender character: whip smart but deeply innocent, traumatized but also joyful and funny. Magnolia’s complex voice is nothing short of miraculous. House of Cotton is a powerful, seductive, and subversive novel." Dana Spiotta, author of Eat the Document, winner of the Rosenthal Foundation Award

"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