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Treeborne by Caleb Johnson

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When it came out last year in hardback, this novel was an Honorable Mention for the Southern Book Prize, one of Southern Living’s “Best New Books,” and one of Library Journal’s “Books to Get Now.” The setting is a fictional town of Elberta, in the hill country of North Alabama, where the author grew up, not the real town of Elberta, Alabama, near the Gulf Coast. The protagonist is Janie Treeborne, who is born to tend the peaches in her family’s orchard. She tells the story of her granddaddy, her grandmother, her aunt, her African-American lover, and the whole community. "I can’t remember the last time I read a book I wish so much I’d written. Treeborne is beautiful, and mythic in ways I would never have been able to imagine...I can’t say enough about this book."―Daniel Wallace. "In his debut novel, Johnson has conjured a stunning account of the Treeborne family of Elberta, Alabama, creating an immersive sense of both time and place as he probes the memories and resentments that linger among the town's residents over the course of decades...Majestic in scope, jam-packed with revelations and a touch of the fantastical, Treeborne is an enthralling story about what binds people together and breaks them apart."―Booklist (Starred Review). "Johnson's gem of a novel tells of a place and its people so vivid and real that readers won't want their stories to end."―Library Journal (Starred Review). "Treeborne is a remarkable first novel: poetic, funny, and populated by particular, fully alive characters. Caleb Johnson has a wonderful ear for the rhythm and diction of Southern voices. He knows how to light on just the right detail of place, time and person. Watching how the intertwined interests of the land, of the past, and of a family play out makes the novel compelling from start to finish."―Dana Spiota. The author, Caleb Johnson, graduated from the University of Alabama, earned an MFA at the University of Wyoming, and now lives and teaches in Philadelphia.

New York: Picador/Macmillan, a 2019 paperback reprint of a 2018 release. 308 pages. Trade paperback