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The New Inheritors - cover

The New Inheritors

Kent Wascom

Publisher: Grove Press

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Summary

Wascom’s third novel is his most accessible yet – The New Inheritors has the power and historical depth that imbued The Blood of Heaven and Secessia but the history is less distant and the concerns more modern. At once a poignant and powerful love story, and a tale of a family driven apart by greed, the book has great energy and propulsion as well as Wascom’s brilliantly rich language and historical detail.

The New Inheritors is the third part in a quartet of books that tells the story of America from 1800 to the present day through the legacy of one family living in the Gulf Coast of the United States. From the Louisiana purchase to the Civil War to the great rise of industrial business and beyond, the quartet is an American epic, and this is the central book.

The New Inheritors touches on the history of many themes that are often thought of as contemporary. One of the central characters is gay and is cast out of his family after this secret is revealed. Although primarily set in New Orleans and the Mississippi Coast, the novel also makes forays to Cuba and Nicaragua and includes Latino and African-American characters whose position and possibilities in life are vastly different from the central Woolsack family. Questions of anti-war protest, adoption, and environmentalism also shadow the main action of the novel.

For readers of Paulette Jiles, Anthony Doerr, Luis Alberto Urrea, Philip Meyer, and Ann Patchett (all of whom we are approaching for blurbs).

Wascom has received astonishingly laudatory reviews for his previous books and we expect the same for this title. The Blood of Heaven was an NPR and Washington Post best book of the year and was a semifinalist for the VCU Cabell First Novelist Award.

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