Live Stream: Mary Elizabeth Pope presents The Gods of Green County in conversation with Jill McCorkle

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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 grew up in Michigan with roots deep in the Missouri Bootheel and Northeast Arkansas. She is Professor of English at Emmanuel College in Boston. She is the author of Divining Venus: Stories, and her work has been featured in the literary magazines Arkansas Review, Florida Review, Bellingham Review, Ascent, Passages North, and Fugue, among others. She holds a Ph.D. in English and Creative Writing from the University of Iowa. She lives outside Boston with her husband. 

Jill McCorkle’s first two novels were released simultaneously when she was just out of college, and the New York Times called her “a born novelist.” Since then, she has published five other novels and four collections of short stories, and her work has appeared in Best American Short Stories several times, as well as The Norton Anthology of Short Fiction. Five of her books have been New York Times Notable books, and her novel, Life After Life, was a New York Times bestseller. She has received the New England Booksellers Award, the John Dos Passos Prize for Excellence in Literature, and the North Carolina Award for Literature. She has written for The New York Times Book Review, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, Garden and Gun, The Atlantic, and other publications. She was a Briggs-Copeland Lecturer in Fiction at Harvard, where she also chaired the department of creative writing. She is currently a faculty member of the Bennington College Writing Seminars and is affiliated with the MFA program at North Carolina State University.

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The Gods of Green County Cover Image
$25.95
ISBN: 9781949467710
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Published: Blair - October 5th, 2021

Hieroglyphics Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781643751382
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Published: Algonquin Books - May 4th, 2021

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