Powers, a National Book Award finalist for his debut novel, The Yellow Birds
confirms his Southern Gothic cred with an enthralling tale of a 90-something
man who was born to slaves and is parsing his past from scattered clues. Spiced
with Flannery O'Connor–esque
flavor, this rich brew of a novel evokes the checkered history of antebellum
Virginia via run-down plantations and twilight marshes, "the breadth of
black water covered in shadow even at midday."