The Gone Dead

The Gone Dead

An electrifying first novel from “a riveting new voice in American fiction” (George Saunders): A young woman returns to her childhood home in the American South and uncovers secrets about her father’s life and death

Billie James’s 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.

Title:The Gone Dead
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9780062490698
Format Type:

    The Gone Dead Reviews

  • Diane S ?

    A debut novel of history and family in the Mississippi delta. Billie, her father found dead in what was called an accident when she was four, returns to the Delta in what she hopes is a short visit. H...

  • Faith

    In 2002 when Billie inherits the house in which her father Clifton died 30 years before, she returns to Mississippi and discovers that his death had not been as straight forward as it appeared. Clifto...

  • ?Karen

    3.5 stars.I thought this started out strong with an intriguing hook. When Billie travels to her birthplace in rural Mississippi, where she's inherited her grandmother's house, she learns that the nigh...

  • Kelli

    I spent one long, hot summer in the Mississippi Delta back in the mid-Eighties. My Boston accent and northern roots made it impossible for me to blend in, and the fact that it was less than twenty yea...

  • Jessica Woodbury

    The Southern mystery with a strong sense of place is not a new genre, but it is a mostly white one. It's wonderful to see Chanelle Benz join the field with THE GONE DEAD, which feels like it belongs w...

  • Taryn Pierson

    Read the whole thing in a day because I couldn't put it down. This is a literary mystery set in Mississippi about a woman who returns to her father's hometown to find out the truth about his death. Of...

  • Jerrie (redwritinghood)

    Just ok. I felt there were too many extraneous characters and the plot was not very original. 2.5⭐...

  • Kyra Leseberg (Roots & Reads)

    Billie James returns to the Mississippi Delta after a thirty year absence.  After her mother's recent death, she's inherited her father's old home that has set vacant for so long it's little more tha...

  • Ann Marie (LitWitWineDine)

    Full review to follow....

  • Linda

    C'mon now.....The Gone Dead takes you by the hand and slow walks you through the uneven roads of the Mississippi Delta. At first, you feel a distant beckoning and the weight of the humid air bogging d...