Edisto Island Author Signs Debut Southern Gothic Novel
Books on Broad will host author J.C. Sasser on Thursday, June 29 from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM to sign copies of her debut novel Gradle Bird. Books on Broad is located at 944 Broad Street, Camden, S.C. 803-713-7323 M-S. The event is free and open to the public. Books will be available for purchase and autographing.
Gradle Bird has lived her entire life with her Grandpa, Leonard, at a seedy motel and truck stop off Georgia’s I-16. But when Leonard moves her to a crumbling old house rumored to be haunted by the ghost of Ms. Annalee Spivey, Gradle is plunged into a lush, magical world much stranger and more dangerous than from the one she came.
Here she meets Sonny Joe Stitch, a Siamese fighting fish connoisseur overdosed on testosterone, a crippled, Bible-thumping hobo named Ceif “Tadpole” Walker, and the only true friend she will ever know, a schizophrenic genius, music-man, and professional dumpster-diver, D-5 Delvis Miles.
As Gradle falls deeper into Delvis’s imaginary and fantastical world, unsettling dangers lurk, and when surfaced Gradle discovers unforeseen depths in herself and the people she loves the most.
A blend between Faulkner’s A Rose for Emily and Billy Bob Thornton’s Sling Blade, Gradle Bird is an unusual tale of self-discovery and redemption that explores the infirmities of fatherly love, the complexities of human cruelty, and the consequences of guilt, proving they are possible to overcome no matter how dark and horrible the cause.
Gradle Bird is receiving wonderful early praise and attention. Besides being honored as a SIBA Spring Okra Pick, the novel has been selected as a book of the month selection of The Pulpwood Queens Book Club (September 2017), the largest book club in the world, and early reviews have already been humbling, with more to come.
What people are saying:
“Lush, haunting and imaginative, Gradle Bird marks J.C. Sasser as America’s new Southern Gothic darling, a name soon to be spoken alongside the likes of Harper Lee and Carson McCullers.” –Bren McClain, author of One Good Mama Bone
“Anyone who doesn’t fall in love with Gradle Bird, the character, might want to stop by an Urgent Care facility for an EKG. Anyone not totally mesmerized by the world depicted in Gradle Bird, the novel, might as well forfeit his or her Human Being ID card. J.C. Sasser’s invented a complex, big-hearted, dirt-road-smart protagonist surrounded by hilarious one-of-a-kind characters (and a ghost). Absurd, yet utterly believable. Southern, yet universal. I’m jealous.” –George Singleton, author of The Half-Mammals of Dixie
“Think Flannery O'Connor riffing Elmore Leonard and you get some sense of this wildly inventive, picaresque novel that stretches the boundaries of what it means to be family and what it costs to love and be loved. But don't get me wrong. J.C. Sasser writes in her own lyrical style, weaving often tragicomic events into a mosaic of sometimes hallucinogenic wonder. Her characters seemed swept up in an arc of ever-pending disaster. And yet in the unforgettable presence of Gradle Bird herself, the book's 16-year-old chief protagonist, you learn how redemption can stumble into our lives at the unlikeliest of times from the unlikeliest of places.” –Ken Wells, author of Meely LaBauve
J.C. Sasser started her professional career at age twelve, working as a dishwasher, waitress, and cook at a truck stop off Georgia’s I-16. Over her life, she has worked as an envelope licker, tortoise tagger, lifeguard, Senate page, model, editor, water-polo coach, marine biologist, plant grower, software consultant, and 6-Sigma Black Belt. Gradle Bird was a short-list finalist in the 2015 William Faulkner-William Wisdom novel competition, and her other writing credits include the short story and screenplay, The Pigeon Catcher (Ceiba Productions 2002). She lives in an old barn on Edisto Island, SC, with her husband, Thomas, along with their two sons, T.C. and Robert Esten, and two dogs, Cro and Blue Moon June. Gradle Bird is her first novel.
Books on Broad is an independent book store and coffee shop located in downtown historic Camden proudly serving SC roasted King Bean coffee and offering a broad selection of new, used, and collectible books. Books on Broad is open Monday through Friday 7:30 am – 6 pm, and Saturday 7:30 am – 4 pm. Shop from the website 24/7 at www.booksonbroad.com.