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The Removed: A Novel

The Removed: A Novel


The Removed: A Novel

ratings:
4/5 (55 ratings)
Length:
7 hours
Publisher:
Released:
Feb 2, 2021
ISBN:
9780062997579
Format:
Audiobook

Editor's Note

Roxane Gay book club pick…

Roxane Gay has a new book club, and she picked “The Removed” as her Audacious Book Club’s March 2021 read. (That’s all we needed to hear to be all-in on this one!) In a story alive with the mythology and history of the Cherokee people, a family struggles with grief 15 years after police shot their teenage son dead. The heartbreaking anniversary coincides with the Cherokee National Holiday, cracking open a tale of blurred boundaries between celebration and sorrow, the living and the dead, and the physical world and the spirit world.

Description

“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.”
—Tommy Orange, author of There There

A RECOMMENDED BOOK FROM
USA Today * O, the Oprah Magazine * Entertainment Weekly * Harper's Bazaar * Buzzfeed * Washington Post * Elle * Parade * San Francisco Chronicle * Good Housekeeping * Vulture * Refinery29 * AARP * Kirkus * PopSugar * Alma * Woman's Day * Chicago Review of Books * The Millions * Biblio Lifestyle * Library Journal * 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

Publisher:
Released:
Feb 2, 2021
ISBN:
9780062997579
Format:
Audiobook

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Reviews

What people think about The Removed

3.9
55 ratings / 5 Reviews
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Reader reviews

  • (5/5)
    Beautiful, haunting, so well written. I loved Edgar’s passages the most.
  • (5/5)
    Amazing story! Well written and excellent readers. Captivating and true to life.
  • (5/5)
    Between the stories of the Cherokee and the narrative of healing after devastating loss, this book feels like a complete picture of the history of the Trail of Tears blending into the violence against Native peoples today and their resilience to continue moving forward. It is a beautiful story of homecoming. The narration with different actors was also wonderful - it made the story come to life. Highly recommend.
  • (5/5)
    This book!! It is just amazing. It tells the story of the Echota family who have lost their son and brother in a case of police violence and mistaken identity. Each remaining member of the family is shattered by this. Each one in their own way. We get to hear them wrestle with this reality 15 years later as they each prepare to attend their family memorial for their lost brother and son. Little do they know, however, that this year the Cherokee ancestors have a little intervention planned. So beautiful. I was spell bound throughout.
  • (5/5)

    1 person found this helpful

    I loved the audible version of The Removed. The characters/voices were wonderfully brought to life by three talented artists. The imagery is spectacular! This story about a native American, Cherokee family, layered with indigenous history, cultural folklore and universal themes was immensely appealing to me. The complex dynamics of family, siblings, love, loss, grief, trauma, addiction, violence, and survival are all here for you to observe and explore. As you learn about the Echotas', you may learn things about yourself and recall events that have shaped you in a significant way. I recommend you check it out! My thanks to Roxane Gay and The Audacity Book Club for the selection.

    1 person found this helpful