Getting Mother’s Body
is the accomplished and critically-praised fiction debut from Suzan-Lori Parks,
the 2002 winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Drama.
Billy Beede, the teenage daughter of the fast-running and
six-years-dead Willa Mae, comes home one day to find a fateful letter waiting
for her: Willa Mae’s burial spot in LaJunta, Arizona, is about to be plowed up
to make way for a supermarket. As Willa Mae’s only daughter, Billy is heiress
to her mother’s substantial but unconfirmed fortune—a cache of jewels that
Willa Mae’s lover, Dill Smiles, is said to have buried with her. Dirt poor,
living in a trailer behind a gas station, pregnant with an illegitimate child,
Billy knows that treasure could mean salvation. So she steals Dill’s pickup
truck and, with her aunt and uncle in tow, heads for Arizona with Dill in hot
pursuit. While everyone agrees it’s only polite to speak of getting mother’s
body and moving her to a proper resting place, it’s well understood that
digging up Willa Mae’s diamonds and pearls will make the whole trip a lot more
worthwhile. Download and start listening now!