Minrose Gwin
Home Promise, by Minrose Gwin Minrose Gwin, The Queen of Palmyra Minrose Gwin, Wishing for Snow Minrose Gwin, Remembering Medgar Evers Minrose Gwin Appearances Minrose Gwin Gallery Home Promise, by Minrose Gwin Minrose Gwin, The Queen of Palmyra Minrose Gwin, Wishing for Snow Minrose Gwin, Remembering Medgar Evers Minrose Gwin Appearances Minrose Gwin Gallery Home Promise, by Minrose Gwin Minrose Gwin, The Queen of Palmyra Minrose Gwin, Wishing for Snow Minrose Gwin, Remembering Medgar Evers Minrose Gwin Appearances Minrose Gwin Gallery



Praise for The Queen of Palmyra a novel by Minrose Gwin

•  Finalist, John Gardner Fiction Book Award
•  Finalist, Julia Peterkin Award
•  Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Book
•  IndieBound Notable Book
•  Women's National Book Association Great Group Read Selection

The Queen of Palmyra"Here it is, the most powerful and also the most lyrical novel about race, racism, and denial in the American South since To Kill A Mockingbird. Writing from deep within the belly of the beast, Minrose Gwin tells the story through the voice of Florence Irene Forrest, a girl growing up in a segregated Mississippi community where her father is a secret Klan leader while her main support comes from an African American family. A story about knowing and not knowing, The Queen of Palmyra is finally a testament to the ultimate power of truth and knowledge, language and love.
—Lee Smith, author of On Agate Hill

"Minrose Gwin is an extremely gifted writer and The Queen of Palmyra is a brilliant and compelling novel. Set in Mississippi in the volatile Civil Rights era and then in New Orleans with the impending devastation of Hurricane Katrina, this novel powerfully reveals the effects of both human and natural destruction. The beauty of the prose, the strength of voice and the sheer force of circumstance will hold the reader spellbound from beginning to end."
—Jill McCorkle, author of Going Away Shoes

"The Queen of Palmyra is an exquisitely beautiful novel. Through the eyes of a young girl, Minrose Gwin confronts the tragic face of racism and shows how it twists and destroys lives in a small southern town. Written with unflinching honesty, the novel grips the reader from its first page and relentlessly drives us to its conclusion."
—William Ferris, author of Give My Poor Heart Ease: Voices of the Mississippi Blues

"Divert your reader and, and then 'clobber' them, advised Flannery O'Connor. In this bold and brilliant book, Minrose Gwin diverts us with the affecting voice of a child and then clobbers us with the ugly truths of our collective past. I can almost hear O'Connor cheering."
—Sharon Oard Warner, author of Deep in the Heart

"Exquisite prose ... Gwin is a master of subtlety, evocation, the unrelenting exposure of ugliness and the dignity of the human spirit. I believe The Queen of Palmyra to be among the half-dozen great novels of these times."
—Margaret Randall, World Literature in Review

"With spot-on dialogue, imagery that winds and engulfs the reader and honesty that cuts to the core, The Queen of Palmyra is one novel that everyone above, below, to the left, and right of the Mason-Dixon line must read."
Examiner - Book of the Week

"The protagonist of this affecting and disturbing bildungsroman, Florence Forrest, lives in Millwood, Miss., the small segregated town where her father, Win, a burial insurancesalesman, is the proud leader of the local Klansmen. … This thought-provoking novel shows the terror and tragedy in one divided Southern community whose residents have no interest in reconciling."
Publishers Weekly

"The story of the Civil Rights movement has been written large in literature and painted across movie screens, but in this at times poetical, always exquisitely written novel, the story becomes that of a million small injuries that make up the story of hatred and prejudice. In Gwin's hands life springs from the pages, the 1960s come to life. I cannot remember when last I was as mesmerized by a book, or as moved by its message."
Cape Times (South Africa)

"The order, specificity, and elegance of language color Gwin's writing and speech. The imagery of The Queen of Palmyra is replete with rich and unexpected detail."
Seattle Post-Intelligencer

"If you read only one book this year, this should be it. Not since To Kill A Mockingbird has there been a novel that so deeply combines the racial tension of the Deep South with everyday moments of joy, humor and pain as seen through the eyes of a young narrator struggling to process traumatic events she sees but doesn't understand."
Roanoke Times

"Through the eyes of 11 year old Florence Forrest, Gwin tells a layered story that is as unsettling as it is satisfying."
Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel

"What if Scout had been the daughter of a leader of the Klan instead of the child of a beloved, fair minded lawyer? The small-town South of the middle of the last century seen through the eyes of a Klansman's daughter might force us to take a larger step forward in confronting the real brutality of our former ways . . .. But Minrose Gwin does not preach. She is a gifted storyteller, careful wordsmith and sensitive observer of personal interactions. Her book would be compelling reading, even if it had no important underlying message."
Greensboro News and Record

Reading The Queen of Palmyra "we can be the eyewitnesses who, by refusing to look away, become part of the true story."
Atlanta Journal-Constitution

"There's a new book on my shelf, placed with care beside To Kill a Mockingbird, The Secret Life of Bees, and The Help. This quartet has given me an indelible sense of time and place for the turbulent 1960s in the South."
Fredericksburg (VA) Free Lance-Star

"…a triumph of narrative skill. Part of the genius of this work is that it encourages the reader to love words in a new way."
Charleston (WV) Observer

"Free of racial cliches and filled with an extraordinary understanding of the lives of blacks and whites as the South was changing, The Queen of Palmyra is an astonishing and moving novel. Like Florence Forrest, the heroine of the book, Minrose Gwin grew up in Mississippi in the '60s. Her ability to describe the feelings, the sights and smells, the tiniest detail of that world is uncanny. Each of her characters becomes a flesh-and-blood person. Mississippians know these people, have seen their brutality, their compassion, their struggles.

In many respects, then, The Queen of Palmyra is our story, regardless of our color. But because of its emotional power the novel may find itself in the rarefied ranks of classics like To Kill a Mockingbird. And thus become a book that belongs to all Americans."
The South Mississippi Sun Herald

"The Queen of Palmyra, the fine debut novel by Minrose Gwin, seems destined to attract comparisons. It may remind readers of Kathryn Stockett's The Help. It'll also stir memories of Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird. But The Queen of Palmyra is definitely an original. It's darker than the other books, with a portrait of Southern race relations that's more complex and more accurate than many fictional depictions. As the novel speeds to its tragic end, I couldn't put it down."
The News & Observer and The Charlotte Observer

"A nuanced, gripping story of race and identity..."
The New Orleans Times-Picayune

"It's a story told in the voice of a Southerner, and it's a story that could only be written by a Mississippi native. With rich descriptions that transport readers to a different time and place, Gwin's writing pays tribute to the past for its role in the present."
The Jackson Clarion Ledger

"...this novel could only be written by a Southerner. A native Mississippian, Gwin has a perfect ear for her characters' voices and an ability to create complicated situations that resonate without resorting to stereotypes. The writing is luminous, the story startling in its clarity and ability to transport readers to a time and place where nuances were the norm."
Delta Magazine

"Like Kathryn Stockett's superhot The Help (2009), The Queen of Palmyra is set in 1960s Mississippi and deals with a segregated society in which black women are paid poorly to raise white people's children. And like the popular Secret Life of Bees (2002), by Sue Monk Kidd, it is narrated by a confused young girl who can barely process the traumatic events she sees but does not understand. [An] atmospheric depiction of racial hatred in the Deep South."
Booklist

"The Queen of Palmyra, the debut novel by Minrose Gwin, will find a welcome audience in fans of Kathryn Stockett's The Help. . . . it gives the reader a real look at the what life was like at that time in small town Mississippi. The turbulent relationship between blacks and whites, and between a young daughter who just wanted the love of her very different parents is hard to look at, and yet it gives the reader a real sense of empathy."
Bookchickdi

"Things in Millwood, Mississippi, go bad fast, and the story for me became a gripping page turner. I don't know that "enjoyed" is the right word to describe the feeling I had upon reading what were at times very unsettling scenes, but I was fascinated by the story Ms Gwin told. . . . If you liked The Help or Mudbound, as I did, then you will like this book as well."
Bibliosue

"This book simultaneously broke my heart and made it soar with joy. The Queen of Palmyra was a tough read. It was difficult to watch 11-year-old Florence, abandoned or neglected by her parents, witness events far beyond her years. On the other hand, Gwin's marvelously woven story kept me itching to keep reading and happy that books like this exist in the world."
My Books. My Life.

"Written in almost ethereal prose, Minrose Gwin has a masterful command of language and I savored every word of The Queen of Palmyra. . . . This novel isn't always a pleasant read and deals with difficult subject matter but is so riveting that I found myself re-reading several passages. The characterization is so vivid that I often forgot that this was a work of fiction."
Book, Line and Sinker

"I loved this book. The story deals with some heavy themes but as it unfolds, it sort of falls gently upon your shoulders and really allows you to experience it and take it in."
Book Chatter

"Trust me, this was a book that had me on edge of my couch and staying up until 5:30 am in the morning to finish it, because I was so utterly terrified what was going to happen to the girl next. It is sometimes those quiet and magical novels, full of reserve and restraint, that pack the biggest emotional punches. Minrose Gwin manages to deliver one hell of a punch in The Queen of Palmyra while still leaving much unsaid in this story of race and identity. Don't be a fool, go buy this book right now!"
The Girl from the Ghetto

"I think everyone should have a copy of this on their bookshelves to sit next to kill a mockingbird and why the caged bird sings ,it is that good unbelievable for a debut novel to be so complete and well written."
Winston's Dad

"The aptly titled The Queen of Palmyra is a terrific historical drama that brings to life the period of Mississippi Burning but with more depth than the super movie."
Mainstream Fiction