The Maid's Version

Author(s): Daniel Woodrell

Fiction - Contemporary

In 1929, an explosion at a dance hall in a Missouri town killed 42 people. Who was to blame? Mobsters from St. Louis? Embittered gypsies? The preacher who railed against the loose morals of the waltzing couples? Or could it have been a colossal accident? Alma Dunahew, whose scandalous younger sister was among the dead, believes she knows the answer - and that its roots lie in a dangerous love affair. But no one will listen to a woman from the wrong side of the tracks. Maid to a prominent citizen, wife of a hopeless alcoholic, her dogged pursuit of justice makes her an outcast and causes a long-standing rift with her own son. It is only decades later that her grandson listens to her account and unearths the sorry truth. With remarkable economy, Daniel Woodrell tells a richly layered story of passion, betrayal and vengeance and two families at opposite ends of the social scale connected down the generations by a festering secret. This is a stunning novel by a writer hailed by Roddy Doyle as 'one of the world's greatest novelists'.


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Praise for WINTER'S BONE: 'It brings us all the satisfactions of crime thriller and mystery...The beauty lies in the loveable and wholly believable character of Ree' -- Guardian A suspicion grows that you are reading the sort of book D.B.C Pierre's Vernon God Little might have been, had it been five times as keenly observed and deeply felt -- The Times 'Woodrell is a marvellous writer' -- Roddy Doyle 'Woodrell throws down sentences that will leave you amazed.' -- Charles Frazier 'Brutal, violent and completely gripping' -- Independent on Sunday Praise for THE OUTLAW ALBUM: 'His language is complex, poetic, strange and beautiful, conjuring up the misty fields and woods of the Ozarks, and the fiercely independent people who live there.' -- Josh Lacey, Guardian wonderful, savage narratives...remarkable even by Woodrell's soaring standards -- Irish Times In a tight navigation of narrative voice, Woodrell manages to turn candid detachment into a form of rough poetic truth, even though the lives of his characters remain far removed from the world of literary sentiment. -- TLS 'Woodrell writes in an almost biblical idiom, which makes the brutality of his stories shocking... These are timeless tales of humans capable of compassion but also monumental violence.' -- Leyla Sanai, Independent 'gripping...Woodrell's folk are as separate in their rituals and customs as any of Tolkein's mythical creations...Woodrell whittles his stories into shape with a serrated knife, and while the language of his characters is a constant surprise with those oblique turns-of-phrase...the curious sideways progression of his plots is what I find most enrapturing.' -- George Pendle, Financial Times Woodrell writes a striking prose that lopes from clause to clause like William Faulkner's...he recalls writers such as Cormac McCarthy, Flannery O'Connor and the Faulkner of Sanctuary in his ability to transform crime into literature. -- John Dugdale, Literary Review He has moved beyond the noir of his earlier work into something that encompasses a greater spectrum of understanding. He has cemented his role as one of America's greatest writers...THE OUTLAW ALBUM is an idiosyncratic, lyric, stunning collection of stories. It is one of the most important collections of short fiction produced in this country in over fifty years. -- William Hastings, Industrial Worker Book Review Delivered in a voice as rich and thick with authenticity as any found this side of William Faulkner, Woodrell unfurls a parade of small people and their half-broke lives, each one shaped, and usually cracked, by the aftermath of some tragedy, but enduring, keeping on, as if breath itself, or simple existence, is its own reward... -- Irish Examiner

Daniel Woodrell was born in the Missouri Ozarks, where he still lives. He is the author of nine novels including WINTER'S BONE, the film of which was nominated for four Oscars in 2011, WOE TO LIVE ON, which was filmed as Ride with the Devil, directed by Ang Lee and starring Toby Maguire, TOMATO RED which won the PEN West Award for fiction in 1999. Five of his novels have been selected as New York Times Notable Books of the year. His collection of short stories, THE OUTLAW ALBUM was published by Sceptre in 2011 and his latest novel, THE MAID'S VERSION, will be published by Sceptre in 2013.

General Fields

  • : 9781444732849
  • : Hodder & Stoughton General Division
  • : Sceptre
  • : June 2013
  • : 216mm X 135mm
  • : United Kingdom
  • : July 2013
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Daniel Woodrell
  • : Paperback
  • : 813
  • : 176