Friday September 6, 2013
Photo Credit: Mike Yoder
Daniel Woodrell, winner of the 2011 Clifton Fadiman Medal from The Center for Fiction, will read from and discuss his latest novel, The Maid's Version.
About The Maid's Version
In the 1960s, young Alek is sent to live with his grandmother, Alma DeGeer Dunahew, an illiterate former maid residing in West Table, Missouri. Haunted by the death of her sister and forty-one others in the Arbor Dance Hall explosion of 1929, she speaks at length only when recounting her memories surrounding the deadly blaze. Her views are the source of a feud between her and her son, which forces Alek to bottle up her memories.
Decades later, during a vigil for victims that includes the appearance of a haunting, spectral presence, the elder Dunahew finally allows his grown son to share the stories he has heard about the tragedy. The Maid's Version is a poetic account of how communities process tragedy and how the various responses affect multiple generations.
Daniel Woodrell was born in the Missouri Ozarks. Five of his novels were selected as New York Times Notable Books of the Year. Tomato Red won the PEN West Award for the Novel in 1999, and The Death of Sweet Mister received the 2011 Clifton Fadiman Medal from The Center for Fiction. His first collection of stories, The Outlaw Album, was published in 2011. Woodrell lives in the Ozarks near the Arkansas line with his wife, Katie Estill, and The Maid's Version is his ninth novel.