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Mississippi Books and Writers

2008

Note: Prices listed below reflect the publisher's suggested list price. They are subject to change without notice.

The AppealThe Appeal

By John Grisham

Doubleday (Hardcover, $27.95, ISBN: 0-385-51504-9)

Publication date: January 2008

Description from the publisher:

Politics has always been a dirty game.

Now justice is, too.

 

In a crowded courtroom in Mississippi, a jury returns a shocking verdict against a chemical company accused of dumping toxic waste into a small town’s water supply, causing the worst “cancer cluster” in history. The company appeals to the Mississippi Supreme Court, whose nine justices will one day either approve the verdict or reverse it.

Who are the nine? How will they vote? Can one be replaced before the case is ultimately decided?

The chemical company is owned by a Wall Street predator named Carl Trudeau, and Mr. Trudeau is convinced the Court is not friendly enough. With judicial elections looming, he decides to try to purchase himself a seat on the Court. The cost is a few million dollars, a drop in the bucket for a billionaire like Mr. Trudeau. Through an intricate web of conspiracy and deceit, his political operatives recruit a young, unsuspecting candidate. They finance him, manipulate him, market him, and mold him into a potential Supreme Court justice. Their Supreme Court justice.

The Appeal is a powerful, timely, and shocking story of political and legal intrigue, a story that will leave readers unable to think about our electoral process or judicial system in quite the same way ever again.

 

Pelican Road Pelican Road

By Howard Bahr

MacAdam/Cage (Hardcover, $24.00, ISBN: 1596922893)

Publication date: May 2008

Description from the publisher:

From the acclaimed author of The Judas Field, a beautiful and haunting portrait of the men who served on the great American railroads.

It’s Christmas Eve, 1940. Along an isolated stretch of railway between Meridian, Mississippi, and New Orleans, Louisiana, two locomotives travel toward one another through the dark winter landscape. A.P. Dunn, engineer aboard the 4512 southbound freight, reminisces about the last trip he made through the snow. And though he can remember every detail about that voyage in 1923, what he can’t recall are the events of a few hours ago—where he ate breakfast, how he got the gash on his forehead, or what he did to make his crew treat him so strangely.

On the northbound Silver Star, a luxury passenger train packed with returning college students and gift-bearing families, brakeman Artemus Kane has his own memories to contend with: French trenches and German snipers, a failed marriage, and a too-short layover spent with Anna, the brilliant and lonely woman he has just left behind in the Crescent City.

In Pelican Road, Howard Bahr returns to his greatest theme—the tragic nobility of those attempting to overcome difficult situations through love, honor, and sacrifice—and shows that on the railway, catastrophe is never more than a distracted moment away.

A Dangerous Age A Dangerous Age: A Novel

By Ellen Gilchrist

Algonquin Books (Hardcover, $23.95, ISBN: 1565125428)

Publication date: May 2008

Description from the publisher:

Ellen Gilchrist is one of America’s most celebrated and respected authors, a classic writer in the tradition of Eudora Welty, Flannery O’Connor, and Elizabeth Spencer. The author of more than twenty books, she was awarded the National Book Award for her short story collection Victory Over Japan. Now, with her first novel in more than a decade, she returns in top form.

A Dangerous Age tells the story of the women of the Hand family, three cousins in a Southern dynasty rich with history and tradition who are no strangers to either controversy or sadness. By turns humorous and heartbreaking, the novel is a celebration of the strength of these women, and of others like them. In her characteristically clear and direct prose, with its wry, no-nonsense approach to the world and the people who inhabit it, Gilchrist gives voice to women on a collision course with a distant war that, in truth, is never more than a breath away.

As the Washington Post has said, “To say that Ellen Gilchrist can write is to say that Placido Domingo can sing. All you need to do is listen.”


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