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Small Treasons by Mark Powell

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Ron Rash called Mark Powell, “the best Appalachian writer of his generation.” Powell was born in 1976 in the Blue Ridge Mountains of South Carolina. Julia Elliott notes that Small Treasures is “both richly regional and ambitiously international in scope. Small Treasures probes the murky depths of a troubled marriage, moving between the personal and political with lyrical ease. Powell’s characters – flawed, contemplative, and viscerally alive – pine for meaningful communication as they struggle to ground their identities in a complex world . . . .but not without hope.” Dennis Covington writes, “This terrifying novel is a work of genius . . . Be careful as you read it, but for God’s sake, read it. Powell is something else.” David Joy notes that this novel “achieves that rare balance between complexity and pacing, a story rich and intricate, propulsive and satisfying. Mark Powell has been the South’s best-kept secret for far too long.” Those keeping track of the relationship between the economic history of Appalachia and its literary history, starting with steamboat captain George Washington Harris before the Civil War, through John Fox, Jr. and his coal operator brother, will note that Powell’s father is a realtor. Mark Powell teaches English at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina.

New York: Gallery Books/Simon and Schuster, 2017. 382 pages. Hardback in dust jacket