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The Gone Dead: A Novel Audiobook, by Chanelle Benz Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Chanelle Benz Narrator: Bahni Turpin Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2019 ISBN: 9780062917850
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Billie James' inheritance isn't much: a little money and a shack in the Mississippi Delta. The house once belonged to her father, a renowned black poet who died unexpectedly when Billie was four years old. Though Billie was there when the accident happened, she has no memory of that day—and she hasn't been back to the South since.

 Thirty years later, Billie returns but her father's home is unnervingly secluded: her only neighbors are the McGees, the family whose history has been entangled with hers since the days of slavery. As Billie encounters the locals, she hears a strange rumor: that she herself went missing on the day her father died. As the mystery intensifies, she finds out that this forgotten piece of her past could put her in danger.

Inventive, gritty, and openhearted, The Gone Dead is an astonishing debut novel about race, justice, and memory that lays bare the long-concealed wounds of a family and a country.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “The novel is beautifully written throughout, with descriptions of the land, sounds, and even Billie’s dog, Rufus, especially enthralling. Benz’s inclusion of Clifton’s lost work make Billie’s experiences authentic.”

    Library Journal (starred review)

  • “The music of the spoken word shows that Benz has a strong ear and appreciation for Southern culture that rings true.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “Populated by a cast of delightfully untrustworthy characters, and told from multiple points of view, Billie’s quest to discover what really happened one night thirty years earlier is propulsive from the outset…A beautiful and devastating portrait of the modern South, this book will linger in the minds of readers.”

    Publishers Weekly

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About the Author

Chanelle Benz has published short stories in the American Reader, Fence, and the Cupboard, and on Granta.com, and is the recipient of an O. Henry Prize. She received her MFA at Syracuse University as well as a BFA in acting from Boston University. She is of British-Antiguan descent and currently lives in Houston.

About the Narrator

Bahni Turpin, winner of numerous AudioFile Earphones Awards and several prestigious Audie Awards for her narrations, was named a “Golden Voice” by AudioFile magazine in 2019. Publishers Weekly magazine named her Narrator of the Year for 2016. She is an ensemble member of the Cornerstone Theater Company in Los Angeles. She has guest starred in many television series, including NYPD Blue, Law & Order, Six Feet Under, Cold Case, What about Brian, and The Comeback. Film credits include Brokedown Palace, Crossroads, and Daughters of the Dust. She is also a member of the recording cast of The Help, which won numerous awards.