Skip to product information
1 of 1

Soho Press

Where The Dead Sit Talking by Brandon Hobson (Paperback)

Where The Dead Sit Talking by Brandon Hobson (Paperback)

Regular price $16.00 USD
Regular price Sale price $16.00 USD
Sale Sold out

Fiction - Coming of Age - Indigenous 

Published: 6/4/2019


Set in rural Oklahoma during the late 1980s, Where the Dead Sit Talking is a stunning and lyrical Native American coming-of-age story.

With his single mother in jail, Sequoyah, a fifteen-year-old Cherokee boy, is placed in foster care with the Troutt family. Literally and figuratively scarred by his mother’s years of substance abuse, Sequoyah keeps mostly to himself, living with his emotions pressed deep below the surface. At least until he meets seventeen-year-old Rosemary, a troubled artist who also lives with the family.

Sequoyah and Rosemary bond over their shared Native American background and tumultuous paths through the foster care system, but as Sequoyah’s feelings toward Rosemary deepen, the precariousness of their lives and the scars of their pasts threaten to undo them both.

Finalist for the 2018 National Book Award for Fiction
Finalist for the 2019 SFC Literary Prize
Longlisted for the 2020 International Dublin Literary Award
Longlisted for the 2019 Aspen Words Literary Prize
NPR's Code Switch Best Books of 2018
Kirkus Reviews Best Book of 2018
Southern Living Best Book of 2018
2018 Reading the West Book Award Winner for Fiction
2019 In the Margins Book Award Top Fiction Novel

Praise for Where the Dead Sit Talking

“Set in rural Oklahoma in the 1980s, Hobson's tale reverberates with the hope of connection as it explores Native displacement and loss.”
—The New York Times

​“​This is a dark story that depicts the loneliness and pain of unwanted children and the foster care system where they end up​ . . . ​authentic and humane.​”
—​The Oklahoman ​ 

“A dark, twisting, emotional novel about a teenage Cherokee boy dislocated in the foster care system . . . The novel holds a difficult dialogue on intergenerational trauma, the effects of separating children from their Nations, and the perilous outcomes if we do not make urgent changes to the systems forcing American Indians to assimilate and disconnect. This may be set in the past, however, the same cycles exist today, showing that we have not yet learned the necessary lessons to interrupt the trauma.”
—Electric Literature

“I was really struck by the intelligence of the book, as well as the significance of the story that he's telling, about what it's like to be a modern Indigenous person in this country, as a Native American, and to be in the foster care system. I was very struck by the plot of it—it's very well written, it's very propulsive, it's very readable for literary fiction, and I would recommend it heartily to book clubs.”
—Min Jin Lee, author of Pachinko

“Imagine a plot hybrid of Dickens and George Saunders​.”
The Brooklyn Rail

​“Dreamlike prose​ . . . ​ Where the Dead Sit Talking is an exploration of whether it’s possible for a person to heal when all the world sees is a battlefield of scars.​”
—​San Diego CityBeat ​

“The latest from Hobson is a smart, dark novel of adolescence, death, and rural secrets set in late-1980s Oklahoma. Hobson’s narrative control is stunning, carrying the reader through scenes and timelines with verbal grace and sparse detail. Far more than a mere coming-of-age story, this is a remarkable and moving novel​.”
—​Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

“A masterly tale of life and death, hopes and fears, secrets and lies.”
Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review

“Hobson's eloquent prose and story line will keep literary and general fiction readers turning pages. Its teen protagonists offer interest for young adults.”
—Library Journal  

View full details