House of Cotton: A Novel
An enchanting Black Southern gothic debut, perfect for readers of Mexican Gothic
... "Fresh, haunting...In her roller-coaster ride of a gothic debut novel, Monica Brashears upends expectations at every turn." ―
The New York Times
“Every page, every scene, every sentence of Monica Brashears’s debut novel House of Cotton dazzles and surprises. An intense, enthralling, and deeply satisfying read!” ―Deesha Philyaw, author of The Secret Lives of Church Ladies
"A new, dazzling, and essential American voice." ―George Saunders, author of Lincoln in the Bardo
Magnolia Brown is nineteen years old, broke, and effectively an orphan. She feels stuck and haunted: by her overdrawn bank account, her predatory landlord, and the ghost of her late grandmother Mama Brown.
One night, while working at her dead-end gas station job, a mysterious, slick stranger named Cotton walks in and offers to turn Magnolia’s luck around with a lucrative “modeling” job at his family’s funeral home where she’ll impersonate the dead. There’s a lucrative fee involved and she accepts. But despite things looking up, Magnolia’s problems fatten along with her wallet. And when Cotton’s requests become increasingly demanding, Magnolia discovers there’s a lot more at stake than just her rent.
Sharp as a belted knife, this sly and haunting social commentary cuts straight to the bone. "Brashears offers a fresh new perspective on Appalachia and the American South, and Magnolia's rich voice will echo with readers long after the pages are closed" (
Horror, Mystery, Prose