Charis welcomes two important new voices in Southern and Appalachian lit, Mesha Maren and Randal O’Wain. Set within the charged insularity of rural West Virginia, Mesha Maren’s Sugar Run is a searing and gritty debut about making a break for another life, the use and treachery of makeshift queer families, and how, no matter the distance we think we’ve traveled from the mistakes we’ve made, too often we find ourselves standing in precisely the place we began. Randal O’Wain’s Meander Belt offers a reflection on how a working-class boy from Memphis, Tennessee, came to fall in love with language, reading, writing, and the larger world outside of the American South. This memoir examines what it means for the son of a carpenter to value mental rather than physical labor and what this does to his relationship with his family, whose livelihood and sensibility are decidedly blue-collar.
“A heady admixture of explosive plot and taut, burnished prose . . . Mesha Maren writes like a force of nature.” —Lauren Groff, author of Florida
In 1989, Jodi McCarty is seventeen years old when she’s sentenced to life in prison.
In Meander Belt M. Randal O’Wain offers a reflection on how a working-class boy from Memphis, Tennessee, came to fall in love with language, reading, writing, and the larger world outside of the American South.