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Monday, July 30, 2012

Magnificent review

Thanks to Contemporary Literature for a review of A Death at the White Camellia Orphanage that makes great claims for the book. The full review by John M. Formy-Duval is here.

Some clips:

It is seldom that a novel from a small university press can compete with the offerings from the big houses in New York. A Death at the White Camellia Orphanage may be the best novel this reviewer has read this year. Its quality and story-telling remind one of The Adventures of Roderick Random, Great Expectation and The Grapes of Wrath among others. The winner of the 2012 "Ferrol Sams Award for Fiction," A Death has the potential to become a classic American picaresque novel.

One wishes, however, that this novel will not get shunted into the regional box and be seen only as a Southern novel. Its themes and the power of its language, the forceful flow of its storyline and its characters have earned the right to a broad national audience.

(Note: There is a minor error where Pip is referred to by the full name of the protagonist in Great Expectations...)


  1. Thanks especially for all the lovely facebook friends who've commented elsewhere and are still streaming by. This is my first novel with a university press, and I am hoping that it will become more visible! Thank you for taking a look, and for assisting Lady Word of Mouth.

  2. I've been telling everyone I know about it, and I will continue to do so.

  3. Thank you for that!

    I'm pleased that people are commenting and sharing and making their own facebook and twitter posts about the review. That is just what I need. Lady Word of Mouth, look kindly upon me!

  4. Insightful writing, but praise entirely deserved by you. It is shaping up to be a Marly year!

  5. And it's a Clive year, too--although how could any year live up to your retrospective year? But it is so thrilling to have two out of three books with Clivean images!

  6. I'm late reading this, but how wonderful! Looks like the reviewer had read all of our reviews ;D.

  7. Your "Pip" comments would be enlightening to anybody who took a look!


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.