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The Removed (MP3 CD)

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In Brandon Hobsons, The Removed, the Echota family are coping with the tragic loss of their 15 year old son, Ray Ray. Hobson tenderly weaves their present day loss with the grief their Cherokee ancestors have endured throughout history. I found myself entranced in the dream-like state of the spirit world, while simultaneously feeling the bone heavy emotions of the Echota family. This timely story looks at deep prejudices, questions forgiveness and connects us to the hope found in facing grief; healing our open wounds while recognizing the scars of our ancestors.

— Tonya

February 2021 Indie Next List


“In telling the story of a Native family in Oklahoma who lost a teenage son to a shooting, The Removed examines the power of inherited trauma and the strength of family to keep people together. The book is told in the voices of the various family members left after the death of their son/brother and explores the effects on their lives of their Cherokee ancestors who walked the Trail of Tears. Mixing several points of view along with Native myth, Hobson brings a powerful story to light where the reader really steps into the shoes of each character. The loss, sadness, and despair are palpable, but so are hope and healing, by the end. A truly beautiful book about something everyone should read more about.”
— Izzy Stringham, Bookbinders Basalt, Basalt, CO

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"Brandon Hobson has given us a haunted work, full of voices old and new. It is about a family's reckoning with loss and injustice, and it is about a people trying for the same. The journey of this family's way home is full--in equal measure--of melancholy and love. The Removed is spirited, droll, and as quietly devastating as rain lifting from earth to sky." --Tommy Orange, author of There There

A RECOMMENDED BOOK FROM USA Today * O, the Oprah Magazine * Harper's Bazaar * Buzzfeed * Elle * Parade * San Francisco Chronicle * Good Housekeeping * Vulture * Refinery29 * AARP * Kirkus * Alma * Woman's Day * The Millions * Biblio Lifestyle * Publishers Weekly * LitHub

Steeped in Cherokee myths and history, a novel about a fractured family reckoning with the tragic death of their son long ago--from National Book Award finalist Brandon Hobson

In the fifteen years since their teenage son, Ray-Ray, was killed in a police shooting, the Echota family has been suspended in private grief. The mother, Maria, increasingly struggles to manage the onset of Alzheimer's in her husband, Ernest. Their adult daughter, Sonja, leads a life of solitude, punctuated only by spells of dizzying romantic obsession. And their son, Edgar, fled home long ago, turning to drugs to mute his feelings of alienation.

With the family's annual bonfire approaching--an occasion marking both the Cherokee National Holiday and Ray-Ray's death, and a rare moment in which they openly talk about his memory--Maria attempts to call the family together from their physical and emotional distances once more. But as the bonfire draws near, each of them feels a strange blurring of the boundary between normal life and the spirit world. Maria and Ernest take in a foster child who seems to almost miraculously keep Ernest's mental fog at bay. Sonja becomes dangerously fixated on a man named Vin, despite--or perhaps because of--his ties to tragedy in her lifetime and lifetimes before. And in the wake of a suicide attempt, Edgar finds himself in the mysterious Darkening Land: a place between the living and the dead, where old atrocities echo.

Drawing deeply on Cherokee folklore, The Removed seamlessly blends the real and spiritual to excavate the deep reverberations of trauma--a meditation on family, grief, home, and the power of stories on both a personal and ancestral level.

"The Removed is a marvel. With a few sly gestures, a humble array of piercingly real characters and an apparently effortless swing into the dire dreamlife, Brandon Hobson delivers an act of regeneration and solace. You won't forget it." --Jonathan Lethem, author of The Feral Detective



Product Details
ISBN: 9781799949336
ISBN-10: 1799949338
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication Date: February 2nd, 2021
Language: English