We're excited to offer the debut novel by Turnrow Books proprietor Jamie Kornegay -- now in paperback! In 2015, Soil was an Indie Next Pick and saw terrific regional support on hardcover publication. It hit the SIBA bestseller list in its first week and remained on the list for four weeks. After one month atop the Mississippi bestseller list, it remained one of the top selling books in Mississippi.
With elements of rural noir, dark comedy and domestic dysfunction, Soil is a modern tragedy that pays homage to Mississippi's great literary tradition -- from William Faulkner to Larry Brown and Barry Hannah -- and adds a manic dose of Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment for good measure.
Distrustful of modern society, environmental scientist Jay Mize moves his family off the grid to a stretch of riverbottom farmland in the Mississippi hills, where he hopes to position himself at the forefront of a revolution in agriculture. After suffering drought, flood, pestilence and family turmoil, Jay uncovers a dead body in his water-logged field. Rather than alert the authorities, he mounts a paranoid cover-up, which invites more unwanted trouble to his sacred homestead.
Beset by a growing madness, Jay is pitted against his estranged wife, who has become unhinged by her own trials, and a local deputy, whose interest in the family is not strictly in the pursuit of justice. Through a maze of misperceptions and personal obsessions, these characters endeavor -- however clumsily -- to uphold their own sense of honor as they tumble toward a showdown in the treacherous mudflats.