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Famed puppeteer and master manipulator Walter Gray surprises his three daughters by announcing there is a fourth at his 80th birthday party. An incomplete paternity test--and a will that places a condition on each daughter's inheritance--suggest that the missing daughter isn't a figment of his dementia.
The sisters each knew a different version of their enigmatic father, but all grew up in the presence of fairy tales acted out with marionettes and shadow puppets. If they are to find the fourth daughter and claim the legacy their father has left them, the three must confront their fractured relationships with their father and each other. Infused with fairy tales that sometimes spill magic into the sisters' real lives, The Puppeteer's Daughters is a stunningly-woven family saga about the cost and rewards of claiming a creative life.
Heather Newton’s short story collection McMullen Circle (Regal House 2022) was the finalist for the W.S. Porter prize. Her novel The Puppeteer’s Daughters is forthcoming from Turner Publishing in July 2022 and has been optioned by Sony Pictures Television. Her novel Under The Mercy Trees (HarperCollins 2011) won the Thomas Wolfe Memorial Literary Award, was chosen by the Women’s National Book Association as a Great Group Reads Selection and named an “Okra Pick” by the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance. A practicing attorney, she teaches creative writing for UNC-Asheville’s Great Smokies Writing Program and is co-founder and Program Manager for the Flatiron Writers Room writers’ center in Asheville.
Tommy Hays is the author of four novels. The Pleasure Was Mine (St. Martin’s Press), Sam’s Crossing (Atheneum) and In the Family Way (Random House), winner of the Thomas Wolfe Memorial Literary Award and a selection of the Book of the Month Club. Tommy’s middle grade novel, What I Came to Tell You (Egmont USA), was chosen as a SIBA Okra Pick. He’s published stories and various pieces in magazines and literary journals such as Redbook, Our State, Smoky Mountain Living, The Chattahoochee Review and storySouth. Hays was recently inducted into the South Carolina Academy of Authors, writers judged to have added to South Carolina’s literary legacy. In 2021 he was named to the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, the highest civilian honor bestowed by the governor of North Carolina. He’s a member of the Board of Trustees for the North Carolina Writer’s Network and a member of National Book Critics Circle. He is retired Executive Director of the Great Smokies Writing Program and Lecturer Emeritus in the Master of Liberal Arts program at UNC Asheville. He received his BA in English from Furman University and graduated from the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College.