Southern Cross the Dog

3.16 based on 982 ratings & 192 reviews on

Publication date: 09.05.2013
ISBN: 9781447224914
Number of pages: 0


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
This cool, assured debut marks the arrival of a new great American author . . . A dreamlike read, this takes you back to another America.
For the first few pages of Bill Cheng's debut Southern Cross the Dog, you may feel disoriented. Good. That's the author's intention. You are not in the world of realist fiction, a landscape peopled with recognisable characters who are about to embark upon a familiar story. You are in the world of language and music. . . It is southern gothic without a break, because Robert hardly gets a day off from his struggle . . .this is, after all, the deep south, in both history and literature the home of an unstable mix of trauma, dram and melodrama. . . Southern Cross the Dog is an experiment in submerging the reader in the rhythms and language of a period of US history and literature that has disappeared. He has made his book out of fascination and research. It is haunting and unrelenting.