Photograph: Maude Schuler Clay
Jamie, 38, lives in the Mississippi Delta, where he moved in 2006 to establish an independent bookstore, Turnrow Book Co. Before that he was a bookseller, events coordinator and radio show producer at the renowned Square Books in Oxford, Mississippi. SOIL is his first book. I’m handling this on behalf of Jim Rutman at Sterling Lord Literistic, who’s sold the novel at auction to Marysue Rucci at S&S in the States.
The Coen Brothers meet Crime and Punishment - with a Mississippi twist
It begins as a simple dream.
An idealistic environmental scientist moves his wife and young son off the grid, to a stretch of river bottom farmland in the Mississippi hills, hoping to position himself at the forefront of a revolution in agriculture.
Within a year, he is ruined.
When a corpse appears on his family's property, the farmer is convinced he's being set up. And so begins a journey into a maze of misperceptions and personal obsessions, as the farmer, his now-estranged wife, a predatory deputy, and a backwoods wanderer, all try to uphold a personal sense of honour.
By turns hilarious and darkly disturbing, Soil traces one man's apocalypse to its epic showdown in the Mississippi mudflats.