Product Details

$26.95  $25.06
Dzanc Books
Publish Date
5.7 X 0.8 X 8.6 inches | 0.85 pounds
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About the Author

A Seattle7Writers project for literacy, this novel was written by Kathleen Alcalá, Matthew Amster-Burton, Kit Bakke, Erica Bauermeister, Sean Beaudoin, Dave Boling, Deb Caletti, Carol Cassella, William Dietrich, Robert Dugoni, Kevin Emerson, Karen Finneyfrock, Clyde Ford, Jamie Ford, Elizabeth George, Mary Guterson, Maria Dahvana Headley, Teri Hein, Stephanie Kallos, Erik Larson, David Lasky, Stacey Levine, Frances McCue, Jarret Middleton, Peter Mountford, Kevin O'Brien, Julia Quinn, Nancy Rawles, Suzanne Selfors, Jennie Shortridge, Ed Skoog, Garth Stein, Greg Stump, Indu Sundaresan, Craig Welch and Susan Wiggs. Foreword by Nancy Pearl. Introduction by Garth Stein.


"Middleton's tale is irresistibly gothic"
-Barnes & Noble
"A novel in the Southern Gothic tradition...Darkansas looks like it will live up to its name for sure."
"An edgy, modern version of Southern Gothic, with plenty of atmosphere and action."
-Literary Hub
"A book that deserves many readers, one I suspect will be passed around for many years. ... Middleton's creepy, crawly sentences are laden with gothic thicket, and the atmosphere he evokes is mystical. ... In a memorable and skilled novel, Middleton suggests that there are unexplained mysteries out there, and that their presence may play a heavier hand in our daily lives than we'd like to believe."
-Arkansas Times
"Darkansas is a dark, compelling novel of country noir about a family with a secret past and a curse several generations old... a novel that shares DNA not only with the best contemporary Southern Gothic and country noir authors but also with literary giants like William Faulkner and Cormac McCarthy."
--Criminal Element
"From the get-go, Middleton grabs readers with an eerie dream about a violent death, a portent of things to come in his page-turning debut about a family's curse...the book is elevated by Middleton's prose, especially the rough and textured descriptions of the landscapes and environment."
--Publishers Weekly
"A well-carved story of a family's curse, as brittle and grotesque as any works in the vein of Faulkner or O'Connor. A subversive twist on Southern myths that's surprisingly rich in its execution."
--Kirkus Reviews
"Finding the right phrase to describe Jarret Middleton's new novel isn't easy. It's a tale of the tensions within a family; it's the story of that family's bloody history; and it's an account of bizarre and uncanny forces heightening existing conflicts and transforming them into something horrific. Classifying this book isn't easy, but the tense and gripping sensations that reading it sparks are undeniable."
--Vol 1 Brooklyn
"Old grudges, regrets, jealousy and 150 years of buried secrets.... Bleak, perhaps, but Darkansas also shines with a light of empathy for a family with more than its share of bad luck to go along with its bad genes."
--Shelf Awareness
"The devil didn't go down to Georgia, he went to Arkansas, where the Bayne family struggle against Beelzebub's grip on their collective fates. Middleton's ferocious debut has it all-sex, song, sadness, and a history as dark and twisted as the Ozark hollers that fill these pages. Holy hell, what a book."
-Peter Geye, author of Wintering
"Gritty, ghostly, poetic...one of the best debuts of the year."
-Donald Ray Pollock, author of The Heavenly Table
"A mesmerizing debut [. . .] There is a dark magic in Middleton's prose that is impossible to resist."
-Jonathan Evison, New York Times best-selling author of The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving
"Middleton's lush writing creates an atmosphere both beauitful and horrific. A grand debut that pushes the limits of 'Southern Gothic' and delivers an engrossing story of family, love, and fate."
-Kathi Kirby, Powell's Books, Portland, OR
"Middleton's brilliant debut is a vivid, haunting page-turner in the American gothic tradition."
-Garth Stein, New York Times best-selling author of The Art of Racing in the Rain
"A slow burn [. . .] Before you know it you can't put it down. A barbed meditation on fear, family, and the monstrousness of fate."
-Brian Evenson, author of Last Days
"A delicious blend of the gritty reality inherent in dysfunctional family relationships and the magical realism of small towns in the mythic 'deep south' [. . .] You can practically hear Ry Cooder's guitar licks playing in the background."
-Paul Hanson, Village Books, Bellingham, WA
"Reminiscent of the works of Larry Brown and Rick Bass; richly drawn, refreshing, and authentic [. . .] An innovative literary voice that I look forward to following for decades to come."
-Nickolas Butler, author of The Hearts of Men