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Ruin Creek

Ruin Creek

By David PaynePublisher: Cedar Lane BrooksISBN: 9798218155186Genre: FictionPrice: $18.00
Available from: Bookshop


Set on North Carolina's windswept Outer Banks, Ruin Creek tells the story of the Madden family. May and Jimmy's reckless, incandescent teenage love has given way, a decade further on, to their son Joey's brokenhearted witness to the dissolution of their marriage and of a family bond he held stronger than time or death. Turning to his grandfather, Pa Tilley, Joey spends long summer days learning to fish the treacherous waters of Oregon Inlet, where North Carolina's mighty Albemarle outrushes into the Atlantic Ocean. One fateful afternoon, a moment's inattention at the boat ramp finds Joey surfacing fifteen yards astern, watching the shoreline recede as the current seizes in, his own name and the boom of the rollers the last thing he hears before the water fills his ears...

Hillsborough's David Payne is the author of five novels, including Confessions of a Taoist on Wall Street, winner of the Houghton Mifflin Literary Fellowship Award, Ruin Creek, a New York Times Notable Book, and Barefoot to Avalon, which The New York Times calls "a brave book with beautiful sentences on every page."


In his fine new novel, “Ruin Creek,” [David Payne] writes of a people and a place from deep in his heart. Mr. Payne knows the hopes, fears and habits of his characters, and weaves a powerful, lyrical story for them that is a joy to read.

--The New York Times Book Review

[Payne] understands that place most families inhabit-somewhere between love and necessity, between truth and myth, between self and the expectations, the dreams and, ultimately, the separateness of others. “Ruin Creek” has an elegiac beauty. It celebrates the power of family love, even as it chronicles its dying… Writing this fine evokes a past time, but also a state of boyhood that is timeless.

--The Washington Post Book World

I begin with what may seem a bold observation: David Payne is the most gifted American novelist of his generation… “Ruin Creek” is the best new novel I’ve read this year. As in “Early from the Dance,” he sets his literary table on the Carolina Outer Banks, a literary territory as palpable in these pages as Tobacco Road in Erskine Caldwell’s works or the Salinas Valley in John Steinbeck’s.

--The Dallas Morning News