Steeped in Cherokee myths and history,a novel about a fractured family reckoning with the tragic death of their son long ago–from National Book Award finalist Brandon Hobson In the fifteen years since their teenage sonRay-Raywas killed in a police shootingthe Echota family has been suspended in private grief. The motherMariaincreasingly struggles to manage the onset of Alzheimer’s in her husbandErnest. Their adult daughterSonjaleads a life of solitudepunctuated only by spells of dizzying romantic obsession. And their sonEdgarfled home long agoturning to drugs to mute his feelings of alienation. With the family’s annual bonfire approaching–an occasion marking both the Cherokee National Holiday and Ray-Ray’s deathand a rare moment in which they openly talk about his memory–Maria attempts to call the family together from their physical and emotional distances once more. But as the bonfire draws neareach of them feels a strange blurring of the boundary between normal life and the spirit world. Maria and Ernest take in a foster child who seems to almost miraculously keep Ernest’s mental fog at bay. Sonja becomes dangerously fixated on a man named Vindespite–or perhaps because of–his ties to tragedy in her lifetime and lifetimes before. And in the wake of a suicide attemptEdgar finds himself in the mysterious Darkening Land: a place between the living and the deadwhere old atrocities echo. Drawing deeply on Cherokee folkloreThe Removed seamlessly blends the real and spiritual to excavate the deep reverberations of trauma–a meditation on familygriefhomeand the power of stories on both a personal and ancestral level.
The Removed: a Novel
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