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



The Queen of Palmyra a novel by Minrose Gwin

Published by HarperCollins/Harper Perennial, 2010
A Barnes & Noble "Discover" pick and an Indiebound Notable Book

Press Release
Praise for The Queen of Palmyra
Interviews

Press Release for The Queen of Palmyra

The Queen of Palmyra"I need you to understand how ordinary it all was." In the tradition of To Kill a Mockingbird, Minrose Gwin's haunting debut novel, The Queen of Palmyra, explores race relations through the unknowing eye of a child. It is the summer of 1963, and Florence Forrest lives in "Millwood," Mississippi, a community like others in the South, deeply divided along racial lines. Millwood proper is white. Shake Rag is the "colored" side of town. Florence's father, Millwood's burial "policy man," is Nighthawk of the local Klan. Her progressive mother, the local cake lady, drags Florence along on her secret bootlegger runs.

Caught between her father's hatred and her mother's gritty rebellion, Florence sticks like glue to Zenie, her grandparents' longtime maid. Zenie, named for the legendary Zenobia, the Queen of Palmyra, thinks of the girl as just another chore but takes her on as a favor to her mother, who makes midnight runs to the bootlegger to warn the local black population of danger. As Florence spends more and more time in Zenie's home in Shake Rag, the girl comes to see the long shadow of bigotry, but nothing prepares her for what happens when Zenie's niece, the vibrant college student Eva Greene, comes to stay for the summer. And so Florence, who has moved uneasily between two families, between two races, finds herself stuck in the middle, an unknowing actor in the brutality and truth of her times.




Praise for The Queen of Palmyra

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

"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

More praise for The Queen of Palmyra




Interviews

89.9 WWNO NPR New Orleans:
"The Sound of Books" —with Fred Kasten
Listen...

Minrose Gwin on WUNC's The State of Things
Minrose Gwin grew up in a segregated Mississippi town much like the one she wrote about in her debut novel "The Queen of Palmyra" (Harper Collins/2010) and like the book's protagonist, she was disturbed by the willful ignorance of white people in her community who blinded themselves to the problems of racism and violence. Gwin, Kenan Eminent Professor of English at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, now makes her home in North Carolina where she continues to reveal the unspoken truths of Southern culture in her writing. She joins guest host Isaac-Davy Aronson to talk about being a Southern author and how family, tragedy, race and gender factor into her work. Listen Now...

Her Circle ezine interview:
...not only does Minrose Gwin manage to cover an angle on the race struggles which remains relevant even today, but she does so in a beautiful narrative built on phrases sharp as stings. This is a book to remind us that language is still a viable denomination of worship
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