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Early Praise for Mulberry, Inaugural Winner of the Lee Smith Novel Prize
Trust me. This is one book you have never read before—fierce and honest, with a brave little heroine who’ll steal your heart.
A whole world of trouble is out there waiting for Maddy, the girl in the top of the mulberry tree at the beginning of this novel—and she will find it, too, when her mother goes away for a year leaving her in charge of her three little brothers. Their alcoholic father drags them from bad to worse living situations, making for the most memorable and surely the scariest coming-of-age story I have read in years. Faulknerian in its themes of place and the past, Dickensian in its scope and widely varied cast of characters with nary a stereotype among them, Mulberry moves from heart-stopping to heart-wrenching to, finally, heart-warming. The extravagantly talented and deeply compassionate Paulette Boudreaux has written a wonderful novel.
–Lee Smith, author of Guests on Earth and The Last Girls
Mulberry is a charmer and a heartbreaker, too. This soaring coming-of-age story proves what the old folks say: the truth really does set us free. Paulette Boudreaux is an exciting new voice in southern literature, and I can’t wait to see what she does next.
–Tayari Jones, author of Silver Sparrow and Leaving Atlanta
Maddy Culpepper is literary cousin to Ellen Foster, unpacking her “collection of little lessons in grief” with heart, pluck, and the sharp-eyed wisdom of innocence.
–Kim Church, author of Byrd