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Haylow: a novel

Travis Hemperly is a white southerner who has never been the minority in any room he's ever entered. He has also  just joined the history faculty at a historically black college in Atlanta. Off campus, he rekindles a relationship with an old flame, and life looks bright—until he begins to suspect that a family member witnessed a lynching as a child. Complicating matters, his father is now a talk show host for WCTR—Confederate Talk Radio—whose listeners debate whether slavery was wrong. In order to remain in his new position, Travis will have to come to terms with some history outside of his area of specialization—that of his family and that of the South.



"Not since Toole’s A Confederacy of Dunces has there been such a smart and hilarious dissection of Southern culture and manners. Stewart cuts a satirical swath through the booby-trapped territory of race politics in contemporary Atlanta. Haylow is destined to become a classic of Southern American literature."

--Anthony Grooms (Trouble No More, Bombingham) 


An amusing and sometimes quite scathing look at academia, racial tensions, and the oppressive  weight of the past that still characterizes life  in the South."

--Kirkus Reviews Recommend Review

"Gosh, it’s good. In Haylow, the elephant in the room is race—make that the elephant in every  room. And gosh, it’s ballsy. Gray Stewart has elephant-sized cojones to address so many politically sensitive issues and somehow leave us laughing like Brer Rabbit in that briar patch. A delicious and beautifully written book, I’m proud to be anywhere near it."

--Charles McNair (Land O’ Goshen, Pickett's Charge)



"Through deftly alternating perspectives and with quiet, occasionally biting humor, Haylow depicts Atlanta at the end of  the twentieth century, still marked by the Civil War and decades of racial conflict yet moving toward its future as a capital of the New South."  Five Stars. 
--Foreword Reviews 
Stewart creates intersections and clashes along the old and new lines of race, gender, and the pastoral, and in doing so he affirms and challenges Southern literary tradition.
--Ravi Howard (Like Trees Walking, Driving the King) 
"Perhaps there is no version of history that can heal the South...Vibrant and potentially vital."
--American Book Review
"Stewart has managed to pull off what very few writers could: He has written a poignant, sometimes hilarious, and unflinching story about race and the burden of history in Atlanta and the South as seen from many perspectives...This book is a treasure and deserves a very wide audience."
--Joe Samuel Starnes (Calling, Fall Line, Red Dirt)
"A deftly written and emotionally complex novel, Haylow is a consistently compelling read from beginning to end."
--Midwest Book Review
"Gray Stewart’s Haylow takes its place among the best American novels ever to probe so deeply into the mine field of race politics, and his work should be required reading."
--Marlon L. Flick (The Nowhere Man)
"Haylow encourages us to question our history, beliefs and values."
--Brit + Co
"Gray Stewart in this award-winning novel comes at it head-on, writing in territory where most others fear to tread. The result is a novel that makes a real contribution to our national dialogue on race."
--John M. Williams (Lake Moon, Village People: Sketches of Auburn)
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