“The Dry Grass of August” by Anna Jean Mayhew is a debut novel published in the US in May 2011 (Kensington Publishing) and whose translation rights are starting to be sold in many countries including France. It seems that some burning auctions are currently taking place and the name of the French publishers should be unveiled very soon…
This impressive debut deserves high praise and above all a careful look. It took the author 18 years to write it and should follow THE HELP as a book all book clubs will want to get their hands on. I have been very impressed by the cross over potential of this literary novel and a movie based on this story could really be something intergenerational!
Here is a brief synopsis:
On a scorching day in August 1954, thirteen-year-old Jubie Watts leaves Charlotte, North Carolina, with her family for a Florida vacation. Crammed into the Packard along with Jubie are her three siblings, her mother, and the family’s black maid, Mary Luther. For as long as Jubie can remember, Mary has been there cooking, cleaning, compensating for her father’s rages and her mother’s benign neglect, and loving Jubie unconditionally.
Bright and curious, Jubie takes note of the anti-integration signs they pass, and of the racial tension that builds as they journey further south. But she could never have predicted the shocking turn their trip will take. Now, in the wake of tragedy, Jubie must confront her parents’ failings and limitations, decide where her own convictions lie, and make the tumultuous leap to independence. . .
Infused with the intensity of a changing time, here is a story of hope, heartbreak, and the love and courage that can transform us–from child to adult, from wounded to indomitable.
Also, please, don’t miss the hilarious “Go the F…ck to Sleep” by Adam Mansbach: already a bestseller in the US, this non for children sleeping tale will be published in November in France by Grasset under the title “Dors et fais pas chier”. Maybe not a book to adapt but definitively a book to make you laugh!