The Maid's Version

A Novel
By Daniel Woodrell (Hardcover Book, 2013)
The American master's first novel since Winter's Bone (2006) tells of a deadly dance hall fire and its impact over several generations.

Alma DeGeer Dunahew, the mother of three young boys, works as the maid for a prominent citizen and his family in West Table, Missouri. Her husband is mostly absent, and, in 1929, her scandalous, beloved younger sister is one of the 42 killed in an explosion at the local dance hall. Who is to blame? Mobsters from St. Louis? The embittered local gypsies? The preacher who railed against the loose morals of the waltzing couples? Or could it have been a colossal accident?

Alma thinks she knows the answer-and that its roots lie in a dangerous love affair. Her dogged pursuit of justice makes her an outcast and causes a long-standing rift with her own son. By telling her story to her grandson, she finally gains some solace-and peace for her sister. He is advised to "Tell it. Go on and tell it"-tell the story of his family's struggles, suspicions, secrets, and triumphs.
  • Little, Brown and Company
    • Format: Hardcover Book

    • Price: $25.00 US/$28.00 CAN

    • ISBN-13: 9780316205856

    • On Sale Date: 09/03/2013

    • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company

    Formats Available: Hardcover Book, Trade Paperback, Electronic Book, Audiobook, Audiobook

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  • Audiobook Excerpt

The American master's first novel since Winter's Bone (2006) tells of a deadly dance hall fire and its impact over several generations.

Alma DeGeer Dunahew, the mother of three young boys, works as the maid for a prominent citizen and his family in West Table, Missouri. Her husband is mostly absent, and, in 1929, her scandalous, beloved younger sister is one of the 42 killed in an explosion at the local dance hall. Who is to blame? Mobsters from St. Louis? The embittered local gypsies? The preacher who railed against the loose morals of the waltzing couples? Or could it have been a colossal accident?

Alma thinks she knows the answer-and that its roots lie in a dangerous love affair. Her dogged pursuit of justice makes her an outcast and causes a long-standing rift with her own son. By telling her story to her grandson, she finally gains some solace-and peace for her sister. He is advised to "Tell it. Go on and tell it"-tell the story of his family's struggles, suspicions, secrets, and triumphs.

Five of Daniel Woodrell's eight published novels were selected as New York Times Notable Books of the Year. Tomato Red won the PEN West Award for the Novel in 1999. Woodrell lives in the Ozarks near the Arkansas line with his wife, Katie Estill.
  • Praise for Winter's Bone

    "If William Faulkner lived in the Ozark Mountains today and wrote short, powerful novels set in that little understood, much-maligned swath of rural America, he might sound a lot like Daniel Woodrell." (Los Angeles Times Book Review).

  • Praise for Winter's Bone:


    "If William Faulkner lived in the Ozark Mountains today and wrote short, powerful novels set in that little understood, much-maligned swath of rural America, he might sound a lot like Daniel Woodrell."
    (Los Angeles Times Book Review).

  • "Daniel Woodrell is the American writer we increasingly look to for the latest urgent news on the American soul. The Maid's Version is a beautiful engine of a novel, whose cogs were not entirely made by human agency, one might hazard to say. As regards the level of reading pleasure, the highest.  As regards the level of literary achievement, the highest."--Sebastian Barry

  • "In prose both taut and lyrical, Winter's Bone vividly evokes the spirit of one little woman warrior."

  • "The Maid's Version is stunning. Daniel Woodrell writes flowing, cataclysmic prose with the irresistible aura of fate about it."--Sam Shepard

  • "His best yet, an instant classic....Daniel Woodrell is a stunningly original writer." (Associated Press).

  • "I'd gladly sign a petition to see Mr. Woodrell included on any roll call of America's finest living writers. He conveys a sense of the past with the stringent affection of Katherine Anne Porter; his turns at bedlam humor are worthy of Charles Portis; and his gorgeously tangled prose is all his own."--Sam Sacks, Wall Street Journal

  • "Woodrell is the least-known major writer in the country right now."

  • "Woodrell is, like every truly great novelist, a mythmaker with both eyes on the absolute....The Maid's Version is one more resplendent trophy on the shelf of an American master."--William Giraldi, The Daily Beast

  • Praise for The Outlaw Album:

    "Daniel Woodrell has published his first story collection, The Outlaw Album, and for readers of both crime and literary fiction, there is much to celebrate....Most of the stories deal with the darkest recesses of the human heart, and once you begin reading them, you can't stop." (New York Times Book Review).

  • "Compact and soulful....The Maid's Version's worth is also in its luminous prose. Woodrell's sentences bristle with finely tuned language and almost biblical rhythms of his characters' speech....Further proof, as if we needed it, that Woodrell is a writer to cherish."--Adam Woog, Seattle Times

  • "The Maid's Version shows one of America's best writers at the top of his game."--Kevin Nguyen, Grantland

  • "For readers new to Daniel Woodrell's work, The Maid's Version is a perfect introduction and an invitation to read more. It's a short book...but there are lifetimes captured here....Throughout this remarkable book, Woodrell is an unsentimental narrator of an era that is rendered both kinder and infinitely less forgiving than our own."--Ellah Allfrey, NPR Books

Formats

Product Details

The Maid's Version
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
  • Price: $25.00 US/$28.00 CAN
  • Pages: 176
  • Physical Dimensions: 5-1/2" x 8-1/4"
  • ISBN-13: 9780316205856
  • On Sale Date: 09/03/2013
The Maid's Version

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The Maid's Version