Set in a mid-century carnival, this collection has a cover image painted by the author during studies at Coney Island Museum. The curator of that museum, Lisa Schaefer, said of the book, "Steeped in sideshow tradition, and addressing issues of race, gender, self-concept, and creative expression, your book is beautifully written."
To the Bones
Darrick MacBrehon, a government auditor, wakes among the dead. Bloodied and disoriented from a gaping head wound, the man who staggers out of the mine crack in Redbird, West Virginia, is much more powerful—and dangerous—than the one thrown in. An orphan with an unknown past, he must now figure out how to have a future.
Hard-as-nails Lourana Taylor works as a sweepstakes operator and spends her time searching for any clues that might lead to Dreama, her missing daughter. Could this stranger's tale of a pit of bones be connected? With help from disgraced deputy Marco DeLucca and Zadie Person, a local journalist investigating an acid mine spill, Darrick and Lourana push against everyone who tries to block the truth. Along the way, the bonds of love and friendship are tested, and bodies pile up on both sides.
In a town where the river flows orange and the founding—and controlling—family is rumored to "strip a man to the bones," the conspiracy that bleeds Redbird runs as deep as the coal veins that feed it.
"This is the West Virginia novel done right: slam-bang storytelling in tightly controlled language, by turns horrific and funny and beautiful."
Pinckney Benedict, author of Miracle Boy and Other Stories
"A thrilling hike into coal country, Nieman's page-turner pulls off an audacious trick: empathy for a misunderstood region."
James Tate Hill, author of Academy Gothic
Like a daring archeologist, the poems of Hotel Worthy dig [deeply] into the intimate layers of years, excavating the fossils of memory, love, loss, and family history. These poems compel us to have the courage to emerge from our past shipwrecks and embark anew. This collection is a roadmap for beginning again.
Fred Chappell, former Poet Laureate of North Carolina