by Barbara Kingsolver
From the acclaimed author of The Poisonwood Bible and The Bean Trees, a brilliant novel that enthralls, compels, and captures the heart as it evokes a young hero's unforgettable journey to maturity
Set in the mountains of southern Appalachia, Demon Copperhead is the story of a boy born to a teenaged single mother in a single-wide trailer, with no assets beyond his dead father's good looks and copper-colored hair, a caustic wit, and a fierce talent for survival. Relayed in his own unsparing voice, Demon braves the modern perils of foster care, child labor, derelict schools, athletic success, addiction, disastrous loves, and crushing losses. Through all of it, he reckons with his own invisibility in a popular culture where even the superheroes have abandoned rural people in favor of cities.
Many generations ago, Charles Dickens wrote David Copperfield from his experience as a survivor of institutional poverty and its damages to children in his society. Those problems have yet to be solved in ours. Dickens is not a prerequisite for readers of this novel, but he provided its inspiration. In transposing a Victorian epic novel to the contemporary American South, Barbara Kingsolver enlists Dickens' anger and compassion, and above all, his faith in the transformative powers of a good story. Demon Copperhead speaks for a new generation of lost boys, and all those born into beautiful, cursed places they can't imagine leaving behind.
"Demon is a voice for the ages--akin to Huck Finn or Holden Caulfield--only even more resilient. I'm crazy about this book, which parses the epidemic in a beautiful and intimate new way. I think it's her best." -- Beth Macy, author of Dopesick
"Absorbing....Readers see the yearning for love and wells of compassion hidden beneath Demon's self-protective exterior.... Emotionally engaging is Demon's fierce attachment to his home ground, a place where he is known and supported, tested to the breaking point as the opiate epidemic engulfs it.... An angry, powerful book seething with love and outrage for a community too often stereotyped or ignored." -- Kirkus Review (Starred Review)
"May be the best novel of 2022... Equal parts hilarious and heartbreaking, this is the story of an irrepressible boy nobody wants, but readers will love." -- The Washington Post
About the Author:
Barbara Kingsolver is the author of ten bestselling works of fiction, including the novels Unsheltered, Flight Behavior, The Lacuna, The Poisonwood Bible, Animal Dreams, and The Bean Trees, as well as books of poetry, essays, and creative nonfiction. Her work of narrative nonfiction is the influential bestseller Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life. Kingsolver's work has been translated into more than twenty languages and has earned literary awards and a devoted readership at home and abroad. She was awarded the National Humanities Medal, our country's highest honor for service through the arts, as well as the Dayton Literary Peace Prize for the body of her work. She lives with her family on a farm in southern Appalachia.