The Half-Life of Home
by Dale Neal

Fiction · Paperback · 238 pages
ISBN 978-1-934081-41-9 · Publisher Direct Price: $12.50

Click on cover image to see full-size version

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Standing your ground is hard when you can't trust what's underfoot.

Sorting what's true and what's only wished is even harder in a place like Beaverdam, where stories sprout faster than grass on a new grave.

Beaverdam's children heard tell of the Witch Woman who lived in a ruined cabin, who would cuss you or worse if you dared knock on her door. They were warned of the Snakebit Girl, how the rattler's fangs struck her pudgy hand reaching into the nest for the hen's eggs. Rather than tell a soul of her plight, she swelled with poisoned pride, and for her silence she was buried in the sloping graveyard. They knew of the Failed Farmer who lost all in the last depression of the nineteenth century. He sold off his plow horse, but still found necessity for the useless halter: his body was found hanging from a rafter in his empty barn.

But the oldest story was of a curse that lay on the land itself. The first whites who crossed the gap encountered no Indians, but the occasional arrowhead could be unearthed in the black fields by the creek, once dammed by the creatures who lent the cove its name. Besides those napped flints, those first hunters had left behind a legend...

"This profoundly moving, elegiac novel gives full voice to a lost place and, in its way, a lost culture. "The Half-Life of Home" is a book readers will find hard to forget." --Ron Rash, author of Serena and The Cove

Click here to read a review of The Half-Life of Home in the Asheville Citizen-Times.

Click here to read a review of The Half-Life of Home in the Star News Online.

Click here to read an interview with Dale Neal in the Asheville Citizen-Times.

Click here to read a review of The Half-Life of Home in the Charlotte Observer's The Reading Life blog.

Click here to read the first chapter of The Half-Life of Home.



Dale Neal is the author of the novels The Half-Life of Home and Cow Across America, winner of the 2009 Novello Literary Prize. His short fiction and essays have appeared in Arts & Letters, Carolina Quarterly, Marlboro Review, Crescent Review, and many other literary journals. A graduate of the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College, he has been awarded fellowships to the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Hambidge Center, and the Knight Center for Specialized Journalism at the University of Maryland. He is a prize-winning writer for the Asheville Citizen-Times, having covered entrepreneurs, police, local government, religion, arts, books, and technology. He is a lifelong native of North Carolina and lives in Asheville with his wife and dogs. When his nose is not buried in some book, he’s bound to be out on the trails of the surrounding Blue Ridge Mountains. Visit his website at dalenealbooks.com.

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