I’m so thrilled that Graywolf Press has published an excerpt of my novel on their website. This excerpt won a contest with the Summer Literary Seminars, and that is why I’m in Lithuania today. It was a massive, awesome, generous thing for these editors to choose my work for their pages. Here’s what they said about the first pages of “The Following.”
The winner of the 2013 Graywolf SLS Prize, awarded to the best novel excerpt from an emerging writer, is Leah Bailly, for The Following. The excerpt is haunted by the absence of Laura Barnett, a politician’s wife who disappears in the wake of a disastrous house fire. We loved the way this captures both Sierra Leone to Canada in admirable detail, as well as unexpected touches like the entry from Barnett’s encyclopedia that opens the first chapter. But it’s the slightly sinister narrative voice—the “we” of Barnett’s followers—that really captivated us. If there were a real online forum for Laura Barnett like the one that appears here, we’d likely post a question or two. Perhaps we’ve become one of “the following” as well.
The excerpt is published here.