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Publisher's Summary

Billy Beede, the teenage daughter of the fast-running, no-account, and six-years-dead Willa Mae, comes home one day to find a fateful letter waiting for her: Willa Mae's burial spot in LaJunta, Arizona, is about to be plowed up to make way for a supermarket.As Willa Mae's only daughter, Billy is heiress to her mother's substantial but unconfirmed fortune - a cache of jewels that Willa Mae's lover, Dill Smiles, is said to have buried with her. Dirt poor, living in a trailer with her Aunt June and Uncle Roosevelt behind a gas station in a tumbleweedy Texas town, and pregnant with an illegitimate child, Billy knows that treasure could mean salvation. So she steals Dill's pickup truck and, with her aunt and uncle in tow, heads for Arizona with Dill in hot pursuit. While everyone agrees it's only polite to speak of getting mother's body and moving her to a proper resting place, it's well understood that digging up Willa Mae's diamonds and pearls will make the whole trip a lot more worthwhile.The enormously accomplished fiction debut from Suzan-Lori Parks, the 2002 winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, Getting Mother's Body takes its place in the company of the classic works of Zora Neale Hurston and Alice Walker. But when it comes to an ingenious, uproarious knack for depicting the trifling, hard-luck, down-and-out souls who need a little singing and laughing and lying and praying to get through the day, Suzan-Lori Parks shares the stage with no one.
©2003 Suzan-Lori Parks; (P)2003 Random House, Inc. Random House Audio, a division of Random House, Inc.
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Critic Reviews

"Getting Mother's Body is a straightforward, light-footed novel with none of the bleak, doomy undertones of Faulkner's; it's just about as funny and not nearly as scary." (The New York Times)
"Though I've read countless novels, I had never read one like this." (The Washington Post)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
3 out of 5 stars
By Andrew on 07-30-03

Just a warning...

Just so you aren't surprised (as I was), the entire book, other than the singing, is narrated in the first person by the author as a variety of poor, southern black folk in the early 1960's. It is humorous, and the diiference in point of view between the older characters and younger characters, particularly as to the evolving racial and social issues of the time, is quite interesting. At first I was somewhat put off by the narrative style, but it grew on me as I came to know the characters' personalities.

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5 of 5 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Barbara on 07-25-03

Good Read

What a good book to listen to. I usually listen at work but this time I burned CD's and listened in the car. I could have done without the singing in it but I guess it added to the story. The story line was good, the characters believable. Poor Bille Beede! I felt for her and her life and wanted so much for her to have something good happen to her. I guess you will have to listen and find out in the end if Bille does get a better shake out of life!

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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