Pub Date 21 May 2019
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Mary Miller seizes the mantle of southern literature with this wry tale of middle age and the unexpected turns a life can take.
Like her predecessors Ann Beattie and Raymond Carver, Mary Miller brings an essential voice to her generation. Building on her critically acclaimed novel, The Last Days of California, and her biting collection, Always Happy Hour, Miller slyly transports readers to her unapologetic corner of the South—this time, Biloxi, Mississippi, home to sixty-three-year-old Louis McDonald Jr. His wife of thirty-seven years left him, his father has passed—and he has impulsively retired from his job in anticipation of an inheritance check that may not come. In the meantime, he watches reality television, sips beer, and avoids his ex-wife and daughter.
One day, he stops at a house advertising free dogs and meets overweight mixed-breed Layla. Unexpectedly, Louis takes her, and, newly invigorated, begins investigating local dog parks and buying extra bologna. Mining the absurdities of life with her signature “droll minimalist’s-eye view of America” (Joyce Carol Oates), Mary Miller’s Biloxi affirms her place in contemporary literature.
About the Author:
Mary Miller is the author of The Last Days of California and the short story collections Big World and Always Happy Hour. She is a former James A. Michener Fellow in Fiction and John and Renée Grisham Writer-in-Residence at the University of Mississippi.
A Note From the Publisher
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“This is a story about second chances, the art of settling, and settling down. Mary Miller knows how to tell a simple story in a spectacular way. She is funny and peculiar and mysterious and wise.” - Helen Ellis, author of Southern Lady Code and American Housewife
“If Lorrie Moore’s wicked sense of humor and Ernest Hemingway’s minimalism had a love-child that love-child would be Mary Miller’s Biloxi. Get ready to fall in love with cantankerous Louis McDonald Jr, a singular character as surprised by life as he is surprising. This book is a winner.” - Hannah Pittard, author of Visible Empire
“Mary Miller’s new novel is a marvel, a deliberate, careful rendering of the slipping-away life of a sixty year old man who discovers, after more than his share of loneliness, desire and calamity, that there is always, after all, the wonder of hope.” - Frederick Barthelme
“I’ve always been a huge fan of Mary Miller’s work. Now, with Biloxi, Miller gives us the singular new voice of Louis McDonald Jr., a man grieving his past, trapped in a state of emotional and mental paralysis — until the day he adopts a dog named Layla, who slowly begins to crack his heart open again. I was continually surprised, delighted, and above all moved while reading. A beautiful book from one of southern literature’s most important young authors.” - Jamie Quatro, author of Fire Sermon and I Want To Show You More