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Now Is Not the Time to Panic by Kevin Wilson

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A Most Anticipated Book of Fall from the Associated Press, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, BookPage, Book Riot, The Boston Globe, Entertainment Weekly, Esquire,  Garden & Gun, LitHub, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Sunset Magazine, Time, Town & Country, The Millions, USA Today, Vogue, Vulture, and The Week. This novel takes place in 2016, but it mostly harks back twenty years to when the Coalfield Panic of 1996 happened. That year, Sixteen-year-old Frances – Frankie to her friends – and Zeke, the new boy in Coalfield, Tennessee, sent to live with his grandmother, pulled a caper. Frankie was an aspiring writer and Zeke an aspiring artist. Frankie came up with some words that flowed and seemed to have deep meaning – “The edge is a shantytown filled with gold seekers. We are fugitives, and the law is skinny with hunger for us.” Zeke illustrated the words, and they photocopied their joint creation and posted it all over town. It became the talk of the town as all kinds of reactions and consequences erupted. “Wilson has developed a story that is a precise capture of adolescence and of two vibrant teens whose everyday dilemmas, weaknesses, and triumphs are utterly endearing . . . Crisp dialogue and [a] zipping story line.” — Booklist (starred review). “[Wilson’s] most emotionally nuanced and profoundly empathetic novel yet. . . . Wilson meaningfully crafts formed characters, allowing his work to register as a universal document of teenage turmoil as blessedly compassionate as it is cunning. Highly recommended as a sincere, sometimes brutal, but always sturdy study of the burden of both art and adolescence and a wonderfully evocative treatise on how we imprint ourselves on the world and learn to survive in that tumultuous wake.” — Library Journal. Kevin Wilson teaches creative writing at the University of the South and lives in Sewanee, Tennessee. Three of his previous novels were New York Times bestsellers, and The Family Fang was adapted into a Hollywood movie.

New York: Ecco/HarperCollins, 2022. 256 pages. Hardback in dust jacket.