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Southern Cross the Dog

3.16 based on 995 ratings & 196 reviews on

09 May 13


When the Great Flood of 1927 devastates Mississippi, eight-year-old Robert Chatham loses everything.

Robert’s adventures in the brooding swamplands – from hard labour to imprisonment to thwarted love – are full of courage, danger and heartbreak. This is story of how a small, hurt boy becomes a tough, young man: forced to choose between the lure of the future and the claims of his past.

Set against one of the great American landscapes, Southern Cross the Dog is a mesmerizing and savagely beautiful novel. It marks the arrival of Bill Cheng as a writer of astonishing gifts.

In the media

This is an assured debut novel . . . Robert's journey into manhood is a tour de force of descriptive power, a poetic invocation of the blues . . . there are some unforgettable set pieces and the writing is sublime throughout.
Mail on Sunday
Readers will enjoy Cheng's capacity for channelling classic southern voices, mind-sets, moods and mores.
Financial Times
Vividly evokes the backwoods balefulness and enchantment of such contesting cinematic variation on the genre as The Night of the Hunter and Beast of the Southern Wild.
Sunday Times