The Mercy Seat
|Author:||Elizabeth H. Winthrop|
A multi-layered tale of life, death and the grey pain of grief. And yet, it is not depressing . . . though slow burning, [it] still manages to be explosive * Irish Examiner * A bitingly intelligent writer who infuses otherwise unremarkable moments with bittersweet pathos. * New York Times Book Review * Praise for FIREWORKS:Winthrop sketches her hapless hero with uncommon charm . . . both he and the reader learn to appreciate anew the 'non-stories' that make up life. * Observer * Praise for DECEMBER:Winthrop is brilliant at depicting the bewildering world and its assault on the senses of a struggling adolescent . . . This extraordinary novel seduces as it also challenges: curiously provoking and offering small flashes of illumination, like matches struck in that dim and meaningful space on the far side of language. -- Natalie Sandison * The Times * Totally engrossing from start to finish. Winthrop's scene building is captivating, her characterization intricately layered, and her ability to build tension both preternatural and Hitchcockian * Ploughshares * Keenly observed . . . richly drawn * New York Times Book Review, Editor's Choice * Praise for THE WHY OF THINGS:With insight, respect and luminous clarity . . . This haunting, shimmering novel reminds us how all of us know our families: with unimaginable intimacy, and hardly at all. -- Andrew Solomon Please celebrate Winthrop's audacious determination to walk through the narrative minefield of this account of an electrocution in the Deep South during the Gothic worst of Jim Crow times. Winthrop redeems her daring by lovely discipline and dignity, by the care she lavishes on each of her rounded characters. The Mercy Seat is a truly bravura performance. -- Geoffrey Wolff This taut, deft novel asks us to look, and to look hard, and our willingness is profoundly honoured. -- Michelle Latiolais In this spare, taut novel, the separate stories of the people around an execution join together to form a portrait of a town, a mentality, a moment in time. This is a compelling, sorrowful read, deeply perceptive and wonderfully full of grace. -- Andrew Solomon
Elizabeth H. Winthrop graduated from Harvard University in 2001 with a BA in English and American Literature and Language, and in 2004 she received her Master of Fine Arts in fiction from the University of California at Irvine. Fireworks, her first novel, was published by Sceptre in 2006, her second, December, was a Richard and Judy Book Club pick for 2009 (both published by Knopf in the US) and her third, The Why of Things, was published in 2013. Born and raised in New York City, she now resides in Gloucester, Massachusetts with her husband and daughter.