The Twelve-Mile Straight (Ecco Press)

Eleanor Henderson’s bestselling debut novel Ten Thousand Saints was named one of the New York Times Book Review’s ten best books of the year and was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, among other honors. It was deemed “fierce, devoted and elegiac,” and Ann Patchett said, “Eleanor Henderson is in possession of an enormous talent which she has matched up with skill, ambition, and a fierce imagination.” In her forthcoming novel, The Twelve-Mile Straight, Henderson boldly returns to the page with a story inspired by those she heard about the small town in South Georgia her father grew up in, and combines the emotional acuity of her earlier work with a fresh take on big, important themes.

Set in Georgia during the years of the Depression and prohibition, The Twelve-Mile Straight is an American epic about race, inequality, and family that reads like a page-turner and is startlingly timely and relevant. It begins when two babies—one dark-skinned, the other light—are born to the daughter of a sharecropper who operates an illegal distillery. The twins’ birth raises questions that have violent, tragic consequences that continue to reverberate many years into the future. Henderson’s childhood was brimming with accounts from her grandparents’ and her father of the town where her grandparents were sharecroppers. She heard tales of her grandparents during the Great Depression and stories about the hard times on the farm, and she also learned about the resilience and the ways in which families persevere together. Henderson was inspired to bring the world of Cotton County, Georgia during the time of Jim Crow to the page, and says she wanted “to capture the innocence of those country stories, and also to fracture it. I knew there was a darker narrative running alongside this one, like the quiet creek running along the [fictional] Twelve-Mile Straight.”

Eleanor Henderson was born in Greece, grew up in Florida, and attended Middlebury College and the University of Virginia. Her debut novel Ten Thousand Saints, was named one of the 10 Best Books of 2011 by The New York Times and a finalist for the Award for First Fiction from the Los Angeles Times and was adapted into a film in 2015. An associate professor at Ithaca College, she lives in Ithaca, New York, with her husband and two sons.

Photo by Nina Subin

Edan Lepucki is the New York Times bestselling author of the novels California and Woman No. 17. Her nonfiction has been published in Esquire, the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, and The Cut. A contributing editor to The Millions, she is the founder of Writing Workshops Los Angeles.

Event date: 
Tuesday, September 19, 2017 - 7:30pm
Event address: 
1818 N Vermont Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90027
The Twelve-Mile Straight: A Novel Cover Image
Possibly out of print. Email or call to check availability and price.
ISBN: 9780062422088
Published: Ecco - September 12th, 2017

Ten Thousand Saints: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062021212
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ecco - September 12th, 2017

Labor Day: True Birth Stories by Today's Best Women Writers Cover Image
By Eleanor Henderson (Editor), Anna Solomon (Editor)
Possibly out of print. Email or call to check availability and price.
ISBN: 9780374239329
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - April 15th, 2014

Woman No. 17: A Novel Cover Image
Possibly out of print. Email or call to check availability and price.
ISBN: 9781101904251
Published: Hogarth - May 9th, 2017

California: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316250832
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Back Bay Books - July 7th, 2015