The Removed: A Novel (Hardcover)

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Description


Steeped in Cherokee myths and history, a novel about a fractured family reckoning with the tragic death of their son long ago—from National Book Award finalist Brandon Hobson

In the fifteen years since their teenage son, Ray-Ray, was killed in a police shooting, the Echota family has been suspended in private grief. The mother, Maria, increasingly struggles to manage the onset of Alzheimer’s in her husband, Ernest. Their adult daughter, Sonja, leads a life of solitude, punctuated only by spells of dizzying romantic obsession. And their son, Edgar, fled home long ago, turning to drugs to mute his feelings of alienation.

With the family’s annual bonfire approaching—an occasion marking both the Cherokee National Holiday and Ray-Ray’s death, and a rare moment in which they openly talk about his memory—Maria attempts to call the family together from their physical and emotional distances once more. But as the bonfire draws near, each of them feels a strange blurring of the boundary between normal life and the spirit world. Maria and Ernest take in a foster child who seems to almost miraculously keep Ernest’s mental fog at bay. Sonja becomes dangerously fixated on a man named Vin, despite—or perhaps because of—his ties to tragedy in her lifetime and lifetimes before. And in the wake of a suicide attempt, Edgar finds himself in the mysterious Darkening Land: a place between the living and the dead, where old atrocities echo.

Drawing deeply on Cherokee folklore, The Removed seamlessly blends the real and spiritual to excavate the deep reverberations of trauma—a meditation on family, grief, home, and the power of stories on both a personal and ancestral level.

About the Author


Brandon Hobson is the author of the novel Where the Dead Sit Talking, which was a finalist for the 2018 National Book Award for Fiction and winner of the Reading the West Book Award. His other books include Desolation of Avenues Untold and the novella Deep Ellum. His work has appeared in the Pushcart Prize anthology, The Believer, the Paris Review DailyConjunctionsNOON, and McSweeney’s, among other places. He is an assistant professor of creative writing at New Mexico State University and teaches in the MFA program at the Institute of American Indian Arts. Hobson is an enrolled citizen of the Cherokee Nation Tribe of Oklahoma.

Praise For…


“Brandon Hobson has given us a haunted work, full of voices old and new. It is about a family’s reckoning with loss and injustice, and it is about a people trying for the same. The journey of this family’s way home is full—in equal measure—of melancholy and love. The Removed is spirited, droll, and as quietly devastating as rain lifting from earth to sky.”
— Tommy Orange, author of There There

Hobson is a master storyteller and illustrates in gently poetic prose how for many Native Americans the line between this world and the next isn’t so sharp. This will stay long in readers’ minds.
Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"With elegiac grace, The Removed tells of one family’s struggles to find wholeness after tragedy."
Booklist

“There are many stories in The Removed, a mystical, deep, and compassionate novel that explores how the intimate lives of a family are shaped by powerful ancestral legacies. The traumas of the past, both personal and historical, are forever with us, but—and here is the miraculous heart of this novel—people can still abide, resist, and even recover. Every character in The Removed seems to contain an intricate, particular, fully realized world. A quietly dazzling and haunting achievement.”
— Dana Spiotta, author of Eat the Document
Product Details
ISBN: 9780062997548
ISBN-10: 0062997548
Publisher: Ecco
Publication Date: February 2nd, 2021
Pages: 288
Language: English