THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU.
to John and Renee Grisham, for your generosity and dedication to new and emerging writers, without which none of this would be possible.
to Dorothy and Wedel Nilsen, for your generosity and legacy. You’ve made my favorite dream come true.
to my mentors, Drew Perry, Tom Franklin, Beth Ann Fennelly, Ricks Carson, and the much-missed Barry Hannah. Thanks for being hard on me when I needed it, and patient, wise, and hilarious always.
to the Elon girls, especially Allison MacEwen, Emily Kirkpatrick, Jenn Millard, and Alaina Maggio. You’re all puncils, every one of you. Thanks for being my best.
to the Ole Miss crew of writers, readers, and troublemakers, Alex Taylor, Christine Davis, Abigail Greenbaum, Melissa Holm Shoemake, Clarissa Romano, Ryan Bubalo, Danielle Sellers, Joe Ricker, Gabriel Scala, Tovah Leah Green Kieserman, Neal Walsh, and Elizabeth Anderson.
to my Atlanta people, especially Matt Weiss, Ann Colwell, Sarah Walpert, Tyler Askew, Rich Johnston, Brandon Kunka, Trey Bilbrey, the whole Eubank small group (all four years), and the Kennesaw State English Department. Also, Abigail Greenbaum and Melissa Holm Shoemake deserve to be thanked twice.
to the Core Collective—Ross Boone, Nathan Collier, Nick Cappas, and Jefferson Davis—my brothers-in-writing.
to Zanthe Ferris. Though we’re nothing like Langley and Eleanor, I couldn’t have written their friendship without ours.
to Susan Swartwout and the staff at Southeast Missouri State University Press, for answering roughly 90,023 questions while guiding this book to print.
to Gene and Doyle Harris, whom I miss every day. I wish you were here to see this.
and finally, to my family, especially Beth and Larry Corbitt and Emily Corbitt Giordano. Not every writer gets parents and a sister who take her dream so seriously and so joyfully, especially when she spends eight years on the first book. Thanks for your support, humor, wisdom, patience—and for giving me a life so happy, I had to write fiction. And to the Corbitt clan for continually asking to read it, telling friends (and quite a few strangers) about it, and never expecting me to eventually wise up and quit. At long last, here it is. I hope you can read it.