Youmans (pronounced like 'yeoman' with an 's' added)
is the best-kept secret among contemporary American writers.

--John Wilson, editor, Books and Culture

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Advent of: A Death at the White Camellia Orphanage

I just realized that a page for A Death at the White Camellia Orphanage has been up at Mercer University Press... O dummy me! There's an image of the jacket (I was told that there will be a seal for The Ferrol Sams Award but that they were deciding where to put it--I guess they're still pondering!) as well as ordering information and flap copy.
The Burt & Burt design team does all the Mercer jackets and so no doubt deserve credit for this one. The camellia photograph was taken by publishing assistant Mary Beth Kosowski (I thought that was the only cover image until a few minutes ago!) I quite like the way the Camellia is a sort of luminous cloud or planet hanging overhead. 

What do you think? 

Like it?

Pub date will be March if we stay on track. Second pass notes are in, so no doubt we are on track!
A Death at the White Camellia Orphanage
By author: Marly Youmans
Product Code: 
Binding Information: Hardback 
Backorder policy
Price: $24.00
Qty:   (Don't click there but click on the first link in the post if you want to support the publisher by buying the book directly from them!)

After a death at the White Camellia Orphanage, young Pip Tatnall leaves Lexsy, Georgia to become a road kid, riding the rails east, west, and north. A bright, unusual boy who is disillusioned at a young age, Pip believes that he sees guilt shining in the faces of men wherever he goes. On his picaresque journey, he sweeps through society, revealing the highest and lowest in human nature and only slowly coming to self-understanding. He searches the points of the compass for what will help, groping for a place where he can feel content, certain that he has no place where he belongs and that he rides the rails through a great darkness. His difficult path to collect enough radiance to light his way home is the road of a boy struggling to come to terms with the cruel but sometimes lovely world of Depression-era America. On Youmans’s prior forays into the past, reviewers praised her “spellbinding force” (Bob Sumner, Orlando Sentinel), “prodigious powers of description” (Philip Gambone, New York Times), “serious artistry,” “unobtrusively beautiful language,” and “considerable power” (Fred Chappell, Raleigh News & Observer), “haunting, lyrical language and fierce intelligence” (starred review, Publishers Weekly.) Howard Bahr wrote of The Wolf Pit, “Ms. Youmans is an inspiration to every writer who must compete with himself. I had thought Catherwood unsurpassable, but Ms. Youmans has done it. Her characters are real; they live and move in the stream of Time as if they had passed only yesterday. Her lyricism breaks my heart and fills me with envy and delight. No other writer I know of can bring the past to us so musically, so truly.”

I like that quote and am now dedicating the book to the inimitable Mr. Bahr!


  1. A marvelous accomplishment. Congratulations, Marly! It'll be hard to wait until March.

  2. Trala, I am pleased! Thank you, Erica...

  3. The jacket looks really good. It catches my eye.
    Oh MAN! Something to order and look forward to.


  4. Wonderful, Marly! Many congratulations! (And it's all true).

  5. Clare,

    Big fat hugs to you! We need to have tea in some exotic country. Soon. I owe you one high tea with gorgeous setting.

  6. Paul,

    Eek, I just got some more good news. I am feeling very jolly, trala!

    More frisking!

  7. Hey, Robin, I love you for loving it! I'm feeling cheerful with all the world.

  8. Hoe exciting to have a new Marly Youmans novel to look forward to reading. A cover design to herald it, no matter how handsome, must be a strange experience for you, your character being given a face where before he was in your head alone. It looks mighty fine to me, and I shall be heading off to pre-order my copy ere long.

  9. Clive,

    I always imagined him as looking quite a bit like my father as a young man... Tall, lean, strong-jawed, handsome.

    That typo is just right! A lot of farming and traveling "hoe boys" in this book.

  10. Looks wonderful, Marly! Yay!--Julie Winters, aka Anonymous

  11. Wonderful, gorgeous, a book to be desired and possessed and read - congratulations on another great achievment, Marly!

    And, congratulations on being nominated for the Pushcart Prize, as I just read over at qarrtsiluni!

  12. Heartiest congratulations, Marly! I think the cover looks lovely, and yes I like that cloud-like camellia, and the retro feeling of the whole thing. Hurrah!

  13. As always Marly eager to have you take me on a splendiforous journey through your imagination. Can't wait. Wish it were March already.

  14. . . . And I join you in feeling jolly about this new adventure, Marly! This is exciting news, and I am thrilled that this book is on its way towards the March publishing date. Congratulations!! Much so! Also, I am pleased to read the glowing insights that your peers, and critics wrote about your work. It is all true, and then some.


  15. Miss Julie,

    I thank you! Though you are no kind of mous or mouse...

    (You can choose name/url and just not include url, by the by.)

  16. marja-leena,

    Thank you so much!

    And yes, I will have to post something about that, too. I am grateful to the qarrtsiloonians!

  17. Jeffery,

    We shall drink "spirit water" together! I always remember that inscription...

  18. Beth,

    I am glad to get your approval as:

    1. a publisher;
    2. a writer;
    3. an artist.

    Whew. Leave anything out?

  19. Miss Yo-Yo,

    I thank you kindly and will write you about the latest in choral escapades soon!

    Hope you and your voice are recovered, Yolanda.

  20. It's lovely Marly. I hope it brings you more of the same recognition you so deserve.

  21. Oh and congratulations on the Pushcart nomination!

  22. Robbi,

    Thanks and thanks!

    I am definitely always happy when I have new readers. Well, almost always!

  23. Lovely cover--no doubt opening up to another other-world/other-time adventure within the pages.


  24. Hi Elizabeth--

    We are hanging out in the Depression this time around. Starting in Georgia and moving wildly...

  25. I'm guilty of buying books just because I like the covers. This would get me :)

  26. "Will," Robin, the word is "will."

    xo XD

  27. Just teasing! G'night, Robin!


Alas, I must once again remind large numbers of Chinese salesmen and other worldwide peddlers that if they fall into the Gulf of Spam, they will be eaten by roaming Balrogs. The rest of you, lovers of grace, poetry, and horses (nod to Yeats--you do not have to be fond of horses), feel free to leave fascinating missives and curious arguments.