Mise à jour du 19 octobre 2017 : droits cédés à Sonatine
“Making good moonshine isn’t that different from telling a good story, and no one tells a story like a woman…”
by Amy Jo Burns
Riverhead Books, Fall 2018
So begins Amy Jo Burns’ ‘SHINER, a multi-voiced, Appalachian-set contemporary debut about the cloistered members of the Bird family, whose secrets are coiled as tightly as the snakes their patriarch handles, and tucked deep in their hidden mountain marshland shack. The novel bears witness to those secrets’ tragic unwinding, alternatingly from the points of view of the daughter, Wren Bird, father, Briar Bird, and mother, Ruby Bird, along with perspectives from Briar’s and Ruby’s best friends, one a moonshiner and one a martyr.
Conjuring the lonesome lyrics of Gillian Welch and covering two generations’ worth of Appalachian heartbreak and resolve, ‘SHINER is a book about modern female myth-making in the land of men, in the land of True Grit, where no woman is supposed to hear—let alone tell—her own story. A story of operatic proportions, it is full of shattered hearts, stolen faith, mistaken identities, untimely deaths, she-balsams and royal empress trees, enough sorrow to fill a river and enough strength to swim against its relentless current.
Amy Jo Burns is the author of the literary memoir “Cinderland” (Beacon Press, 2014), and her writing has since appeared in Salon, Good Housekeeping, The Rumpus, and Jezebel.