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A Thousand Miles from Nowhere

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Jun 28, 2016




A man running from the remnants of his past in New Orleans—and from Hurricane Katrina—struggles to adapt when he's stranded in small-town Virginia in this "marvelous" literary novel (Ron Rash). 

"You have lost everything, yes?" Everything? Henry thought; he considered the word. Had he lost everything?

Fleeing New Orleans as Hurricane Katrina approaches, Henry Garrett is haunted by the ruins of his marriage, a squandered inheritance, and the teaching job he inexplicably quit. He pulls into a small Virginia town after three days on the road, hoping to silence the ceaseless clamor in his head. But this quest for peace and quiet as the only guest at a roadside motel is destroyed when Henry finds himself at the center of a bizarre and violent tragedy. As a result, Henry winds up stranded at the ramshackle motel just outside the small town of Marimore, and it's there that he is pulled into the lives of those around him: Latangi, the motel's recently widowed proprietor, who seems to have a plan for Henry; Marge, a local secretary who marshals the collective energy of her women's church group; and the family of an old man, a prisoner, who dies in a desperate effort to provide for his infirm wife.

For his previous novels John Gregory Brown has been lauded for his "compassionate vision of human destiny" as well as his "melodic, haunting, and rhythmic prose." With A Thousand Miles From Nowhere, he assumes his place in the tradition of such masterful storytellers as Flannery O'Connor and Walker Percy, offering to readers a tragicomic tour de force about the power of art and compassion and one man's search for faith, love, and redemption.

"John Gregory Brown is a writer I've long admired, and this new novel is his best book yet. A Thousand Miles from Nowhere is a marvelous depiction of one man's stumbling journey from despair toward a hard-won redemption." —Ron Rash

What's Inside

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"Grace is the main course special here. It comes with a serving of greatness and a side of grit, with all the essential condiments: wit, soul, and heart. A new kind of road novel for a new South: Brown is a storyteller I'd follow anywhere."—Elisa Albert, author of After Birth
"John Gregory Brown is a writer I've long admired, and this new novel is his best book yet. A Thousand Miles from Nowhere is a marvelous depiction of one man's stumbling journey from despair toward a hard-won redemption."--Ron Rash

"A soulful musing on art, love and sanity, and on art's power to redeem. A beautiful, haunting novel."--Tom Franklin, bestselling author of Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter

"Writing in rowdy, beautiful prose like some latter-day combination of Walker Percy and Gram Parsons, like some kind of grievous angel himself, John Gregory Brown blends his repeated themes of loss, longing, accident, catastrophe and psychosis into the most original and moving novel you cannot even imagine---a novel much more like a jazz suite than a book. Each memorable character gets his own solo, riffs which combine into a surprising and dazzling finale for this memorable work of art."-Lee Smith, New York Times bestselling author of The Last Girls

"Populated by likable and believable characters, an affectionate, understated approach to questions of sanity, survival, and redemption."-Kirkus

"A Thousand Miles from Nowhere is a charming portrait of how redemption can appear in the most unlikely circumstances."--Shelf Awareness

"Brown has a deft way of writing about loss and redemption, at once physical and immediate. The result is palpable, and the relief as Henry once more finds his narrative--the thread that holds his story together--is profound."--Boston Globe

Praise for Audubon's Watch

"Brown's ambition and achievement in Audubon's Watch lie in the sensual effects of his ornate, overripe language... It's a brazen performance that few authors would have the skill or courage to risk."
"It is a rare sensation to encounter an American novel so concerned with the beauty of language and focused on the moral topography of love; these concerns give Audubon's Watch its fundamental strength."
Chicago Tribune
"John Gregory Brown is an engaging, highly readable, and compassionate storyteller. Now he proves himself a masterly architect of plot, narrative, and theme in Audubon's Watch... Breathtaking, compelling, and infinitely rewarding."
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
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