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Gin Phillips lives in Birmingham, Alabama; THE WELL AND THE MINE was turned down by every mainstream US publisher to whom it was submitted and was eventually published by Hawthorne, a tiny press in Oregon. It went on to win the Barnes & Noble Discover Prize and the paperback rights went to Penguin US.Previous Books:The Well and the Mine
A tight-knit miner's family struggles against poverty and racism in Phillips's evocative first novel, set in Depression-era Alabama. Throughout, she moves skillfully between the points of view of miner father Albert, hard-working mother Leta, young daughter Tess and teenage daughter Virgie, and small son Jack. They see men who are frequently incapacitated or killed by accidents in the local mines; neighbors live off what they can grow on their patch of land; and blacks like Albert's fellow miner and friend Jonah are segregated in another part of Carbon Hill--and often hauled off to jail arbitrarily. When Tess witnesses a woman throwing a baby into their well, no one believes her until the dead child is found, and few are shocked. Tess, hounded by nightmares, and Virgie, on the cusp of womanhood and resistant to the thought of an early marriage to the local boys who court her, begin making inquiries of their own, visiting wives who've recently had babies and learning way more than they imagined. With a wisp of suspense, Phillips fully enters the lives of her honorable characters and brings them vibrantly to the page. (Mar.) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
** 'Gripping' Red** 'A lovely, subtle novel, a moving portrait of the Depression-era American south' Observer** 'A gentle, thoughtful and moving book' Psychologies** 'Phillips portrays the characters with uncommon clarity, demonstrating human nature at its best and worst. The result is a book that triumphs on the insight as much as the lyricism of its narrative' Easy Living ** 'A gripping evocation of hard times and unquenchable hope . . . A tender-hearted, involving tale of a hard-scrabble existence in a mining town in 1930s Alabama . . . A vibrant novel' Marie Claire** 'The warmth and wisdom of the writing make this a highly rewarding read' Kate Saunders, The Times** 'The Well and the Mine doesn't just give you characters who'll stay with you - it gives you a whole world' Fannie Flagg, author of Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Caf ** 'A tight-knit miner's family struggles against poverty . . . Phillips fully enters the lives of her honorable characters and brings them vibrantly to the page' Publishers' Weekly** 'Gripping' Red** 'A dazzling new novelist . . . A bold debut, full of heart' O, the Oprah Magazine**'Beautiful and gracefully written - practically perfect' Emma Giacon, Amazon (Booksellers' Choice)**' 'A thought-provoking and moving read' Sarah Clarke, The Torbay Bookshop