Publication Date: May-2013 Hub City Press
Shortly before daybreak in War, West Virginia, a passing train derails and spills an avalanche of coal over sixteen-year-old Emma Palmisano’s house, trapping her sleeping family inside. In Susan Tekulve’s new novel, the year is 1924, and the remote mines of Appalachia have filled with families like Emma’s—poor, immigrant laborers building new lives half a world away from the island of Sicily. Emma awakes in total darkness, to the voice of a railroad man, Caleb Sypher, who is digging her out from the suffocating coal. Though she knows little else about this railroad man, Emma marries him a week later, and Caleb delivers her from the gritty coal camp to thirty-four acres of pristine Virginia mountain farmland.
Emma gives birth to a son, Dean, but the family’s life is shattered by a hobo’s bullet at the railroad station; the boy grows up fast, becoming a remote man with fierce and unpredictable loyalties. Dean’s daughter, Hannah, forsakes her heritage and wanders far from home, in the end reconnecting with the Sypher family in the wildest place of all, the human heart.
Winner of the South Carolina First Novel Prize in 2012, In the Garden of Stone is a multi-generational tale about the nature of power and pride, love and loss, and how one impoverished family withstands estrangement from their land and each other in order to unearth the rich seams of forgiveness. Bleak, harrowing, and beautifully told, In the Garden of Stone, is a haunting saga of endurance and redemption.
For more information about In the Garden of Stone, please visit the publisher’s website HERE.
“[A] beautifully written saga telling the story of successive generations of a West Virginia family living out their lives in one particular spot of earth … There is a remarkable sensitivity to the mystery of how place affects human souls. This is a writer who definitely has what it takes to make a real contribution to Southern literature.”
—Josephine Humphreys, author of Nowhere Else on Earth, judge of the 2012 South Carolina First Novel competition
“There is always a quiet peace that descends when I read Susan Tekulve. These still waters, they run mighty deep.”
—Robert Olmstead, author of The Coldest Night
“This is a beautifully sculpted novel of fully realized characters whose story will grip you from start to finish.”
–Thomas E. Kennedy, author of Falling Sideways
“This novel is so detailed and exact that I found myself absorbed. Tekulve moved me through the generations, with surprises and sadness and drama. She makes this specialized life come alive—to show people who struggle and survive … or don’t survive.”
–C. Michael Curtis, fiction editor, The Atlantic
Susan Tekulve’s nonfiction, short stories and essays have appeared in journals such as Denver Quarterly, Indiana Review, The Georgia Review, Connecticut Review, and Shenandoah. Her story collection, My Mother’s War Stories, received the 2004 Winnow Press fiction prize. Author of Savage Pilgrims, a story collection (Serving House Books, 2009), she has received scholarships from the Sewanee Writers’ Conference and Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference Scholarship and teaches writing at Converse College.
Susan Tekulve’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:
Monday, May 13th: Patricia’s Wisdom
Tuesday, May 14th: Caribousmom
Wednesday, May 15th: WV Stitcher
Friday, May 17th: Fiction Addict
Monday, May 20th: West Metro Mommy
Tuesday, May 21st: Kritter’s Ramblings
Wednesday, May 22nd: Unabridged Chick
Thursday, May 23rd: Tiffany’s Bookshelf
Tuesday, May 28th: Peppermint Ph.D.
Wednesday, May 29th: Rhapsody in Books
Thursday, May 30th: The Relentless Reader
Thursday, June 6th: Book Chatter
TBD: Chaotic Compendiums