The Past Is Never
Tiffany Quay Tyson
- 284 Pages
- March 20, 2018
- ISBN: 9781510726833
- Imprint: Skyhorse Publishing
Siblings Bert, Willet, and Pansy know better than to go swimming at the old rock quarry. According to their father, it's the Devil's place, a place that's been cursed and forgotten. But Mississippi Delta summer days are scorching hot and they can't resist cooling off in the dark, bottomless water. Until the day six-year-old Pansy disappears. Not drowned, not lost . . . simply gone.
After years with no sign, no hope of ever finding Pansy alive, Bert and Willet have tried to move on. But as surely as their mother died of a broken heart, they can't let go. So when clues surface drawing them to the remote tip of Florida, they drop everything and drive south. Deep in the murky depths of the Florida Everglades they may find the answer to Pansy's mysterious disappearance . . . but truth, like the past, is sometimes better left where it lies.
Perfect for fans of Flannery O'Connor and Dorothy Allison, The Past Is Never is an atmospheric, haunting story of myths, legends, and the good and evil we carry in our hearts.
"You hold in your hands Stranger Things but with a satisfying ending. In the sort of cleanly tuned prose that makes another fiction writer happy, Tyson penetrates your imagination with characters and places so real they feel like your own suppressed memories. I'll never look at the Everglades the same way again."Carrie La Seur, award-winning author of The Home Place
"Wise, disturbing, and quietly powerful, The Past Is Never is an American novel for our time. With rare and unflinching honesty, Tyson shows us the darkness, then reaches into it and extracts light. The discovery is breathtaking."Margo Catts, author of Among the Lesser Gods
"Tiffany Quay Tyson has written a gripping novel steeped in the Southern gothic tradition, with a compelling mix of contemporary grit. Dark as the quarry that spooks a Mississippi town and twisty as the Florida mangrove tunnels traversed in search of answers to unraveling family mysteries, The Past is Never had me turning pages long into the night."Kelly J. Ford, author of Cottonmouths
"Tyson writes characters so distinct you'll swear you can hear their footsteps outside your reading room, and does so in prose so elegant you have to remember to breathe. The Past Is Never is a beautiful, moving, brilliant novel."Benjamin Whitmer, author of Cry Father and Pike
"Creatures, real and imagined, fact and fable, inhabit Tiffany Quay Tyson's South, a place stranger than life and all too real. The Past Is Never will alter your vision, make you see anew things you thought you already knew. It’s a flash of lightning in a summer storm."William Haywood Henderson, author of Augusta Locke
"Tyson offers an intriguing exploration of family and identity alongside the complexities and emotions of life's haunting regrets."Booklist
"Mesmerizing Southern Gothic. . . . The author's skillful storytelling reaches a high mark with this novel. Nothing is as it first appears in this dark, complex story that draws upon inner strength, extended family ties and personal determination. As with her first novel, Tyson has an award winner on her hands."The Clarion-Ledger
"Tyson's rich prose turns the Everglades into another world, distinct from Mississippi but just as mysterious."The Florida Book Review
"A notable contribution to Southern gothic fiction. . . . Tyson's stylistic writing and unique voice bring the reader into the heart of the Mississippi Delta and create an eerie atmosphere similar to that of William Faulkner's Sanctuary and William Gay's Twilight."New Orleans Review of Books
The Past is Never reads like a new kind of southern fiction."hottoddy.com
Colorado Book Award for Literary Fiction
Mississippi Institute for Arts and Letters Award for Fiction