Dzanc Books has acquired world, performance, and audio rights for William Gay’s long-awaited novel, The Lost Country (tentatively scheduled for October 2015), as well as another book entitled Little Sister Death and paperback reprint rights for Gay’s debut novel, The Long Home.
Originally scheduled for publication in Fall 2008 by MacAdam/Cage Publishing, The Lost Country was frequently delayed. Gay was set to turn in a final draft just weeks before his untimely death in 2012. Shortly thereafter his last publisher closed its doors for good, leaving the future of Gay’s works uncertain. Michael C. White, a former editor and publisher of Gay’s, worked diligently with the estate to vet publishers and find the best home for Gay’s literary legacy, Ann Arbor –based Dzanc Books, led by publisher Steve Gillis.
The Lost Country centers on Edgewater, who’s recently been discharged from the Navy, and a one-armed conman named Roosterfish who takes him under his wing as they both search desperately for a forgotten past and a future that may never come. The Lost Country cements Gay as one of the strongest voices in Southern literature, alongside Cormac McCarthy, Flannery O’Connor, and William Faulkner.
Little Sister Death finds Gay exploring the horror genre, territory he last mined in Twilight (2006), which was hailed by Stephen King as the best book of the year. A retelling of Tennessee’s famed myth of the Bell Witch, this gripping tale traces a series of ghostly encounters at a haunted manor over the course of two centuries.
Dzanc Books will also reissue a paperback edition of Gay’s first novel, The Long Home (1999), which thrust Gay on to the literary scene and led the The New York Times to rave “a writer of remarkable talent and promise…eminently worth talking about”—an endorsement that Gay would more than live up to over the course of his writing career.
Born in Tennessee in 1941, Gay was a construction worker who didn’t begin publishing until well into his fifties. His other titles include, Provinces of Night, I Hate to See That Evening Sun Go Down, Wittgenstein’s Lolita, and Twilight. His work has been adapted for the screen twice, That Evening Sun (2009) and Bloodworth (2010).