The National Book Foundation’s 5 Under 35, 2015
The Turner House
Selected by ZZ Packer
About the Author
Angela Flournoy is a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop, where she received a Dean’s Fellowship, and the University of Southern California. She has taught writing at the University of Iowa and Trinity Washington University and has worked for the Washington, DC Public Library. She was raised in Southern California by a mother from Los Angeles and a father from Detroit. The Turner House, set in Detroit, is her first novel.
About the Book
A powerful, timely debut, The Turner House marks a major new contribution to the story of the American family. The Turners have lived on Yarrow Street for over fifty years. Their house has seen thirteen children grown and gone--and some returned; it has seen the arrival of grandchildren, the fall of Detroit's East Side, and the loss of a father. The house still stands despite abandoned lots, an embattled city, and the inevitable shift outward to the suburbs. But now, as ailing matriarch Viola finds herself forced to leave her home and move in with her eldest son, the family discovers that the house is worth just a tenth of its mortgage. The Turner children are called home to decide its fate and to reckon with how each of their pasts haunts--and shapes--their family's future. Already praised by Ayana Mathis as "utterly moving" and "un-putdownable," The Turner House brings us a colorful, complicated brood full of love and pride, sacrifice and unlikely inheritances. It's a striking examination of the price we pay for our dreams and futures, and the ways in which our families bring us home.
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About 5 Under 35 Selecting author
ZZ Packer is the author of the short story collection Drinking Coffee Elsewhere. She is a graduate of Yale University, Johns Hopkins University, and the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop. She is an assistant professor at San Francisco State University whose interests include creative writing, post-classical narrative theory, and political philosophy. She is at work on a novel, tentatively titled The Thousands, which chronicles America’s violent history following the Civil War through the eyes of the Buffalo Soldiers—African American infantry and cavalry units who fought during the “Indian campaigns.” She is the recipient of a Dobie Paisano Fellowship, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a National Endowment for the Arts grant, a Wallace Stegner Fellowship at Stanford University, and a Whiting Award. She has published fiction in The Best American Short Stories, Harper’s, Ploughshares, Zoetrope, and The New Yorker, which included her in its 20 Under 40 Fiction Issue. Her nonfiction has appeared in the American Prospect, the Guardian, the New York Times Magazine, the Oxford American, and the Washington Post Magazine.