The Nature of Remains
$18.00 paper | xx Pages
Publication Date: April 2020
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Winner of the AWP Award for the Novel
“With the wrenching simplicity of Kent Haruf and the dark southern lyricism of Daniel Woodrell, Ginger Eager has generated a story that’s tragic and restrained, piercing, compassionate, and incredibly wise in the ways of human nature. Like the amethysts that make up the book’s thematic core, the characters are shaped by powerful forces from within and without. They fracture and yield. They cleave blindly to the very patterns that will destroy them.”
—Paula McLain, author of The Paris Wife and Love & Ruin
“The Nature of Remains is the excellent first novel by Georgia native Ginger Eager. Its characters rang true to me in a way that’s far too rare, full of telling details and never predictable. I literally didn’t want to put it down.”
—Patterson Hood, Drive-By Truckers, writer and musician
“Ginger Eager’s evocative debut sings with the true cadence of the South. Her writing is sure and graceful, her characters both fully-formed and flawed. Doreen Swilley is a feminist everyman, and her struggles to find justice and softness in the hardscrabble world Eager renders so truthfully broke my heart in all the best ways. THE NATURE OF REMAINS is a story that will linger in your mind and heart, told beautifully by a writer of rare talent. Don’t miss it.”
—Joshilyn Jackson, NYT and USA Today bestselling author of The Almost Sisters and The Opposite of Everyone
“Ginger Eager is a fresh, unflinching voice in Southern literature. The Nature of Remains isn’t afraid to explore the complexities of domestic violence or poverty—or what women end up sacrificing as they try to avoid both. Doreen Swilley earns our compassion as the novel moves fiercely on, juxtaposing the past with the present, good intentions with bad decisions, and the struggle to love with the struggle to live. This is a book that will keep you in its spell even as it breaks your heart.”
—Anna Schachner, author of You and I and Someone Else
Ginger Eager grew up in Snellville, Georgia, in a working class family that valued kith and kin, hard physical labor, and being beholden to no one. During her childhood, her hometown went from a quiet agricultural community to a paved and franchised suburb of Atlanta—her first political act was ripping up the surveyor’s stakes that marked for development the woods around her house. After two decades of spiritual seeking, Ginger has come to believe that nothing can save us but ourselves. Her work seeks to reveal the delusions that blind us to our own capacities for decency, kindness and love. This is not to say that she has anything much figured out—her imagined audience is usually an earlier version of herself, her guiding question “What did I need to read then?” Ginger’s reviews, essays, and short stories have appeared in The Chattahoochee Review, Bellevue Literary Review, The Georgia Review, West Branch and elsewhere. She lives in Decatur, Georgia, with the dear man who has stuck by her side since the 90s and their college-aged son.
A portion of the proceeds from The Nature of Remains will be donated to a women and children’s shelter in the area where the author imagines the fictional town of Flyshoals, Georgia to be.