One Good Mama Bone

(Author) (Foreword by)

Product Details

$19.99  $18.59
University of South Carolina Press
Publish Date
5.9 X 8.9 X 0.8 inches | 1.05 pounds

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About the Author

Bren McClain was born and raised in Anderson, South Carolina, on a beef cattle and grain farm. She has a degree in English from Furman University; is an experienced media relations, radio, and television news professional; and currently works as a communications confidence coach. She is a two-time winner of the South Carolina Fiction Project and the recipient of the 2005 Fiction Fellowship by the South Carolina Arts Commission. McClain won the 2016 William Faulkner-William Wisdom Novel-in-Progress for "Took" and was a finalist in the 2012 Pirate's Alley Faulkner Award for Novel-in-Progress for One Good Mama Bone. This is McClain's first novel. Visit her website at http: //


"First-time novelist McClain draws on her family's history in the rural South to create a cast of deeply relatable characters, both human and animal, who readers will find themselves rooting for until the very last page."--Booklist (starred review)
"A thought-provoking story about families and the animals who sustain them."--Kirkus Reviews
"Bren McClain's brilliant and ravishingly moving novel speaks eloquently for all of us who find our deepest humanity intimately connected with all the sentient creatures around us. Humane and universal, One Good Mama Bone is an instant classic."--Robert Olen Butler, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning short-story collection, A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain
"One Good Mama Bone is everything that Bren [McClain] is--smart, confident, unflinchingly honest, witty, wise, and possessing a reassuring wisdom and kindness that carries the reader from the story's heartbreaking beginnings to a morally and emotionally satisfying conclusion. McClain's debut novel is a tour de force! . . . This is a novel that just might break your heart, and it might well heal it too, but with both acts Bren McClain will remind you of why each of us is entrusted with a heart in the first place."--Mary Alice Monroe, from the foreword
"Emotional bonds between humans and animals have long been written about, but never has the bond between a woman and a mother cow been placed front and center. It's about time. The world is ready for this true portrait of a mother cow's compassion and the lessons she has to teach us all. This is an important story whose time has come."-- Gene Baur, president and co-founder of Farm Sanctuary
"Bren McClain writes of elemental things with grace, wisdom, and power. One Good Mama Bone speaks with a quiet authority that comes through on every page."--Ben Fountain, author of Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk
"Among other kudos, McClain's novel was named a 2017 Great Group Reads selection by the Women's National Book Association, and long listed for The Crook's Corner Book Prize Foundation for the best debut novel set in the American South."
"Beautiful book? You bet, and one you'll love."--Lake Country Now
"It's a novel with a heart-breaking beginning whose conclusion is morally and emotionally satisfying."--Southern Literary Review
"The plot and McClain's deeply developed characters are matched by her language. It is both realistic and poetic, simple and eloquent at once, and it will draw you in quickly and completely."--Sumter Item
"The 1950s Deep South comes alive in this folkloric tale of love, sacrifice, and redemption."--Washington Independent Review of Books
2017 Pulpwood Queens' Book of the Year!
"McClain brings forth a story that aches and pulses."--IN Magazine
"Beautifully written and so descriptive of life in the rural South."--Girl Who Reads
"Bren McClain's One Good Mama Bone made me ugly cry and love a cow." -- Kim Michelle Richardson, author of The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek