Press 53 . PO Box 30314, Winston-Salem, NC 27130-0314
Molly Flanagan & the Holy Ghost
by Margaret Skinner
A Robin Miura Novel Selection
208 pages, 9 x 6 paperback
In Molly Flanagan and the Holy Ghost, Memphis native Margaret Skinner continues the generational story of the Flanagan family, scions of her first novel, Old Jim Canaan, both novels originally published by Algonquin Books. Her short stories have appeared in various publications, including River City, The Chattahoochee Review, Memphis Magazine, and Homeworks: A Book of Tennessee Writers. She has served as writer-in-residence at Sweet Briar College and several times at the University of Memphis. She has conducted workshops around the South and held fellowships to the Sewanee Writers’ Conference and the Hambidge Center for Creative Arts and Sciences. She has been a speaker at the Southern Festival of Books and the Oxford Conference for the Book.
In mid-1950s Memphis, Tennessee, twelve-year-old Molly Flanagan struggles with double vision, family drama, piano lessons, and her own self-confidence, all while feeling pulled between the religious instruction of her Catholic godmother, Byrd, and her puritanical, Baptist grandmother, Willie. Molly ultimately decides to put her faith in the Holy Ghost to protect her from the impending dangers of snakes, eye operations, piano recitals, hell, and all other looming disasters. In Margaret Skinner’s capable hands, Molly’s search for grace in the midst of trying times for her family and neighborhood is both poignant and insightful.
Praise for Molly Flanagan & the Holy Ghost
“Beautifully written . . . rich, lyrical prose and fresh insights into human relationships.”
— Publishers Weekly
“Skinner has the odd, supple prose of an original, full of wit and offbeat observation.”
— Mark Bowden, Philadelphia Inquirer
“At its best, this novel's glimpses of profundity and transcendence show us something like a state of grace and a sense of redemption.”
— Sara E. McNeil, writing for the Little Rock Free Press
“Molly Flanagan's Holy Ghost is a topography of ‘the human heart in conflict with itself.’ “
— Robert Gingher, The World & I
Cover artist Jeane Umbreit lives in Memphis. She has, for years, exhibited her work; recently in Damascus and Cairo and, as she says, "proudly" at the Civil Rights Museum in Memphis. Her work is included in many collections including those of the Cincinnati, Memphis Brooks, New Orleans, and Santa Barbara Museums of Art and of corporations and individuals. Jeane's current and past artwork and bio can be seen on her website at: www.jeaneumbreit.com Jeane is working on imagery of the delta for an forthcoming exhibition at David Lusk Gallery (wwwdavidluskgallery.com) where her artwork is represented in Memphis.