— From Brendan's Picks
It was a fire that could be seen for miles, a fire that split the community, a fire that turned families on each other, a fire that it's still hard to get a straight answer about. A quarter of a century ago, someone held a match to Greenwood, Texas's cotton.
Stephen Graham Jones was twelve that year. What he remembers best, what's stuck with him all this time, is that nobody ever came forward to claim that destruction. And nobody was ever caught. Greenwood just leaned forward into next year's work, and the year after that's, pretending that the fire had never happened. But it had. This fire, it didn't start twenty-five years ago. It had been smoldering for years by then. And everybody knew it. Getting them to say anything about it's another thing, though. Now Stephen's going back. His first time since high school, and maybe his last. For answers, for closure, for the people who can't go back. The ones who never got to leave.
Part mystery, part memoir, Growing Up Dead in Texas is packed with more secrets than your average graveyard. Stephen Graham Jones' breakout novel is a story about farming. A story about Texas. A story about finally standing up from the dead and walking away.
About the Author
Stephen Graham Jones is the author of eight novels and two collections. Stephen's been a Shirley Jackson Award finalist three times, a Bram Stoker Award finalist, a Black Quill Award finalist, an International Horror Guild finalist, a Colorado Book Award Finalist, a Texas Monthly Book Selection, and has won the Texas Institute of Letters Award for Fiction and the Independent Publishers Award for Multicultural Fiction. He's also been a Texas Writers League Fellow and an NEA fellow in fiction. His short fiction has been in Cemetery Dance, Asimov's, Weird Tales, The Magazine of Bizarro Fiction, etc., as well as all the journals: Open City, Black Warrior Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, Literal Latte, Cutbank, and on and on, some hundred and thirty stories, total, through every letter of the alphabet. A lot of those stories have been included in multiple best-of-the-year compilations, textbooks, and anthologies, too.
Though Blackfeet, Stephen was born in 1972 in West Texas. This is often confusing, as most Blackfeet are in Montana and he grew up working from tractors and horses and in all kinds of welding and automotive shops. There was also lots of hunting and basketball and various scrapes with the law. After getting his PhD from Florida State University in a record two years, Stephen, twenty-eight then, went to work in the warehouse at Sear's (all he ever planned), but injuries forced him into teaching. And it's not a bad life, being a professor. Stephen made full professor at 36--likely the youngest full prof in the humanities at The University of Colorado at Boulder (and maybe all of Colorado) and is into fiction, comics, film, screenwriting, and anything horror or fantasy, western or science fiction. Or, just anything that tells an interesting story in an interesting way.