The Turner House (Paperback)

The Turner House By Angela Flournoy Cover Image

The Turner House (Paperback)

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May 2015 Indie Next List


“The greatest testament to the skill of a writer is the ability to make what might seem alien to the reader completely recognizable and utterly engaging. Such was my experience reading The Turner House. Mine is a tiny white family from a small town with no sense of heritage, yet every moment I spent with the Turners -- a family of 13 children shaped by the Great Migration to Detroit -- I felt at home. Their struggles and joys are universal, yet told with an exacting eye that always finds the perfect detail. This is a truly impressive debut.”
— Kim Fox (M), Schuler Books & Music, Grand Rapids, MI

NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST

A New York Times Notable Book • An Amazon Top 100 Editors' Pick of the Year

Named a Best Book of the Year by O, The Oprah MagazineEntertainment Weekly • NPR • Essence Men’s JournalBuzzfeed • Bustle • Time OutDenver PostPublishers WeeklyKirkus ReviewsBookPageLiterary Hub KoboThe Week Detroit Free Press

Winner of the Paterson Fiction Prize and the Black Caucus of the ALA—1st Novelist Award

Nominated for the International Dublin Literary Award, the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work – Debut Author, and the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award for Fiction

Finalist for the New York Public Library Young Lions Award, the VCU Cabell First Novelist Award, and the Indies Choice Award

Short-listed for the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction, the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize, the Ernest Gaines Award, The Morning News Tournament of Books, the Winter Lariat List, and the Medici Book Club Prize

Long-listed for the NBCC John Leonard Prize for A Debut Novel and the Chautauqua Prize

A powerful debut, The Turner House marks a major new contribution to the story of the American family.

The Turners have lived on Yarrow Street for over fifty years. Their house has seen thirteen children grown and gone—and some returned; it has seen the arrival of grandchildren, the fall of Detroit’s East Side, and the loss of a father. The house still stands despite abandoned lots, an embattled city, and the inevitable shift outward to the suburbs. But now, as ailing matriarch Viola finds herself forced to leave her home and move in with her eldest son, the family discovers that the house is worth just a tenth of its mortgage. The Turner children are called home to decide its fate and to reckon with how each of their pasts haunts—and shapes—their family’s future.

Praised by Ayana Mathis as “utterly moving” and “un-putdownable,” The Turner House brings us a colorful, complicated brood full of love and pride, sacrifice and unlikely inheritances. It’s a striking examination of the price we pay for our dreams and futures, and the ways in which our families bring us home.

ANGELA FLOURNOY is the author of The Turner House, which was a finalist the National Book Award, a finalist for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize, a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection, an Indie Next pick and a New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice. Her fiction has appeared in The Paris Review, and she has written for The New York Times, The New Republic and the Los Angeles Times. A graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop, Flournoy has taught at the University of Iowa and The Writer's Foundry at St. Joseph's College in Brooklyn. She lives in Los Angeles.


Product Details ISBN: 9780544705166
ISBN-10: 0544705165
Publisher: Mariner Books
Publication Date: March 1st, 2016
Pages: 352
Language: English

"The Turner House speeds along like a page-turner. Flournoy’s richly wrought prose and intimate, vivid dialogue make this novel feel like settling deeply into the family armchair. A–." — Entertainment Weekly

"Flournoy's knockout debut is one of those books that should, by rights, be described as the Great American Novel.... The book tells the story of the 13 adult children of Francis and Viola Turner, who must decide what to do with their family house. The characters are fascinating and funny, and anyone who has played a role in the ecosystem of his family life will recognize the joys and challenges that plague the Turners. But perhaps the strongest character is Detroit itself, as it morphs from bustling modern metropolis to a potent symbol of post-industrial decline." — NPR

"An engrossing and remarkably mature first novel...Flournoy’s prose is artful without being showy. She takes the time to flesh out the world.... In her accretion of resonant details, Flournoy recounts the history of Detroit with more sensitivity than any textbook could.... Flournoy gets at the universal through the patient observation of one family’s particulars. In this assured and memorable novel, she provides the feeling of knowing a family from the inside out, as we would wish to know our own." — New York Times Book Review, Editor’s Choice

"Flournoy has written an epic that feels deeply personal.... Flournoy’s finely tuned empathy infuses her characters with a radiant humanity." — O, The Oprah Magazine

"An elegant and assured debut." — Washington Post

"Poignant and timely." — San Francisco Chronicle

"Flournoy’s National Book Award–nominated debut does an incredible job of bringing both a family and a city to vibrant, poignant life." — Buzzfeed, "The 24 Best Fiction Books of 2015"

"A sprawling family history that delves into the Detroit housing crisis and the potential legacies the past holds, Angela Flournoy's first novel will be remembered as the start of a brilliant career." — Bustle, "2015’s 25 Best Books, Fiction Edition"

"Epic, ambitious and strikingly executed, The Turner House is an impressive debut novel. In the grand tradition of family dramas by the late Bebe Moore Campbell, it is lively and entertaining, with subtle humor and engaging voice. Flournoy manages the difficult feat of skillfully telling the stories of 13 children, their parents and accompanying spouses and love interests in an irresistible style. Here we have a deeply satisfying portrayal of relationships among those to whom we, for better or worse, are related by blood." — The Root

"Nobody can take you from joyful to infuriated as fast as your brother or sister. Similarly, the ups and downs of the 13 siblings that populate The Turner House, the first novel by Angela Flournoy, whip from laugh-out-loud to heart-crushing. Still, she proves even bonds that have stretched a mile long have the ability to snap back." — Essence

"With The Turner House, Flournoy has written an utterly unsentimental love story that, rather like the house on Yarrow Street, manages to make room for everyone." — Christian Science Monitor

"A fierce and tender debut novel.... Angela Flournoy is the literary anthropologist of Detroit, not so different from the way a young Philip Roth was the literary anthropologist of Newark." — Paterson Fiction Prize Citation