Daughter of My People

A Novel by James Kilgo

A stunning debut novel of love, blood, and southern honor


"A beautifully crafted novel—a love story complex in its explorations of betrayal and sacrifice, and one that will not be forgotten. Kilgo's southern landscape is so accurately and richly depicted, the sights and sounds, the smells and summer heat seem to rise from the page. He brings the place and all of those souls left to haunt it to life."
—Jill McCorkle, author of Carolina Moon

"Finally, the truth about the post-Civil War South! Every line is a triumph. Kilgo's voice is honest and original. He's the novelist we've been waiting for."
—Janice Daugharty, author of Necessary Lies

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In this extraordinary, long-awaited debut novel, the acclaimed essayist James Kilgo has woven a richly textured and complex tale from the threads of actual events. Set in rural South Carolina in the early twentieth century, Daughter of My People is the story of the ties of land, blood, and honor that bind and threaten to destroy two families.

At the center of the story are two brothers, Hart and Tison Bonner, and their cousin Jennie Grant, the mixed-race woman one brother loves and the other dishonors. Theirs is a world in which dark passions lead to tragic consequences. The burden of understanding that promises redemption and victory over the destructive forces of ignorance and prejudice rests on the shoulders of Jennie. A shadowy but prominent figure in the stories passed down to Kilgo, Jennie here is given her due. Her strength and dignity, the driving forces of this novel, shine through the generations with the glow of heirloom sterling.

Kilgo is a sensory writer, bringing the landscape alive with an abundance of sights, sounds, and smells. He writes with a resonance that draws the reader in and does not let go until long after the last page has been turned. "This is a love story," he says. "And I hope it breaks the reader's heart as mine was broken in the telling of it."

Brown Thrasher Books

Page count: 304 pp.
Trim size: 5.5 x 9.25


List price: $26.95

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James Kilgo (1941-2002) was a member of the University of Georgia English department faculty for over thirty years and director of the creative writing program from 1994 to 1996. His books include Daughter of My People, Deep Enough for Ivorybills, Colors of Africa, and Inheritance of Horses (all Georgia).