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April 2019 Fiction: Literary

At Briarwood School for Girls
By (author): Michael Knight
9780802128423 Hardcover, Cloth over boards English General Trade FICTION / Literary Apr 12, 2019
$38.95 CAD
Active 5.5 x 8.25 x 0.9 in 304 pages Grove/Atlantic Atlantic Monthly Press
It’s 1994 and Lenore Littlefield is a junior at Briarwood School for Girls. She plays basketball. She hates her roommate. History is her favorite subject. She has told no one that she’s pregnant. Everything, in other words, is under control.

Meanwhile, Disney has announced plans to build a new theme park just up the road, a “Technicolor simulacrum of American History” right in the middle of one of the most history-rich regions of the country. If successful, the development will forever alter the character of Prince William County, VA, and have unforeseeable consequences for the school.

When the threat of the theme park begins to intrude on the lives of the faculty and students at Briarwood, secrets will be revealed and unexpected alliances will form. Lenore must decide whom she can trust—will it be a middle-aged history teacher struggling to find purpose in his humdrum life? A lonely basketball coach tasked with directing the school play? A reclusive playwright still grappling with her own Briarwood legacy? Or a teenage ghost equally adept at communicating with the living via telephone or Ouija board?

Following a cast of memorable characters as they reckon with questions about fate, history, and the possibility of happiness,At Briarwood School for Girls is a stunning and inventive new work from a master storyteller.

MICHAEL KNIGHT is the author of the novelsThe Typist andDivining Rod; the short story collectionsEveningland, Goodnight Nobody andDogfight and Other Stories; and the novellaThe Holiday Season. He teaches creative writing at the University of Tennessee and lives in Knoxville with his family.

Praise forAt Briarwood School for Girls

“Knight’s characters are memorable and nuanced—a credit to his sharp, skillful writing. This is a stunning novel with a hint of the supernatural that’s sure to delight readers.”Publishers Weekly

“A deft, charming Southern coming-of-age novel… A quick-paced, sharp, cleverly designed book by a talented writer.”Kirkus Reviews

“Like a package of sweets sent from home,At Briarwood School for Girls is replete with the familiar, beloved, humorous elements of a boarding school book—old trees and legacies, a headmistress, a ghost, and girls out of uniform—and surprise at what real life offers up. I read the book in an evening—so irresistible and satisfying was it, I kept turning the pages.”—Christine Schutt

Praise forEveningland

“The spirit of Eudora Welty broods over these adroitly crafted stories set in and around coastal Alabama, evoking a world coiled tight as a conch shell.”O Magazine

“Impressive… ‘Water and Oil’ is deft and wonderful, wholly original, and ‘Smash and Grab’ is sharp and fresh with an ending like something out of O. Henry or Thomas McGuane.”New York Times Book Review

“Novelistic…compressed and supple, with a Cheever-esque sensitivity to texture and light.”Garden & Gun

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