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About the Author

Bret Lott is a native of Los Angeles, California. His parents were raised in Mississippi and East Texas and relocated to Los Angeles in the 1950s. It is this Southern heritage -- going all the way back to the War Between the States -- that Mr. Lott has drawn on in writing Jewel. He is the author of five highly acclaimed novels, The Man Who Owned Vermont, A Stranger's House, Jewel, Reed's Beach, and The Hunt Club, as well as two collections of widely anthologized short stories, A Dream of Old Leaves and How to Get Home, and a memoir, Fathers, Sons, and Brothers. He lives with his wife and two sons near Charleston, South Carolina, and teaches at the College of Charleston and Vermont College.


Jewel Hilburn, the strong-willed narrator of this haunting novel set in rural Mississippi, lavishes the parental love she never received upon her own child, who is afflicted with Down's syndrome. (Nov.)

The New York Times Book Review Sweeping and beautifully written....a parable for our age.
The Chicago Tribune Bret Lott's Jewel is a beautifully crafted first-person epic of one poor southern woman's personal duel with God....This is a voice we don't want to stop hearing....Some of the tenderest scenes of family love since those in Dickens....
The Los Angeles Times Lott is one of the most important and imaginative writers in America today. His eye for detail is unparalleled; his vision -- where he looks -- is like no one else's in this country.
The Boston Globe Bret Lott has a gift for making the ordinary seem luminous. In Jewel, he applies his art to a broad canvas and produces what may stand as his masterpiece....Lott matches the honest strength of his characters with that of his prose. His Jewel is a force of nature, her story rising out of a perfect, seamless union of teller and tale.

Jewel Hilburn is 39 years old and the mother of five when Brenda Kay is born. A Down's Syndrome child, Brenda Kay becomes the focus of her mother's world and forever alters the life of the Hilburns. Jewel tells her own story, but her life becomes so intertwined with that of her daughter that such milestones as Brenda Kay's first step at age two and her learning to write the letter ``B'' at age 18 become joint achievements. Based on the lives of the author's grandmother and aunt, Jewel captures the intricate details of raising a retarded child--the total dedication demanded of a mother, the child's impact on the rest of the family, the joy and heartbreak of having a child who will remain eternally six years old. Lott has produced a powerful novel that warrants its selection as a Literary Guild Alternate.-- Thomas L. Kilpatrick, Southern Illinois Univ. at Carbondale Lib.

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