Join us on July 23rd at 7:00 PM for Reader Meet Writer with Jill McCorkle! She will be talking with us about her novel Hieroglyphics and answering your questions. Sign up through Hub City Bookshop here for access to this virtual author event!
A mesmerizing novel about the burden of secrets carried across generations.
• • •
“Hieroglyphics is a novel that tugs at the deepest places of the human soul—a beautiful, heart piercing meditation on life and death and the marks we leave on this world.” —Jessica Shattuck, author of The Women in the Castle
“Engrossing . . . McCorkle weaves a powerful narrative web, with empathy for her characters and keen insight on their motivations. This is a gem.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review
"Gathers layers like a snowball racing downhill before striking us in the heart with blunt, icy force." —Kirkus Reviews
"A powerful evocation of loss and yearning . . . McCorkle testifies to the ageless nobility of human beings who want the next generation to do better. A deeply moving and insightful triumph." —Booklist, starred review
• • •
Lil and Frank married young, launched into courtship when they bonded over how they both—suddenly, tragically— lost a parent when they were children. Over time, their marriage grew and strengthened, with each still wishing for so much more understanding of the parents they’d lost prematurely.
Now, after many years in Boston, they’ve retired to North Carolina. There, Lil, determined to leave a history for their children, sifts through letters and notes and diary entries—perhaps revealing more secrets than Frank wants their children to know. Meanwhile, Frank has become obsessed with what might have been left behind at the house he lived in as a boy on the outskirts of town, where a young single mother, Shelley, is just trying to raise her son with some sense of normalcy. Frank’s repeated visits to Shelley’s house begin to trigger memories of her own family, memories that she’d hoped to keep buried. Because, after all, not all parents are ones you wish to remember.
Hieroglyphics reveals the difficulty of ever really knowing the intentions and dreams and secrets of the people who raised you. In her deeply layered and masterful novel, Jill McCorkle deconstructs and reconstructs what it means to be a father or a mother, and what it means to be a child piecing together the world around us, a child learning to make sense of the hieroglyphics of history and memory.
• • •
Jill McCorkle has published eight novels and four collections of short stories, and her work has appeared in Best American Short Stories several times, as well as The Norton Anthology of Short Fiction. Five of her books have been New York Times Notable books, and her most recent novel, Life After Life, was a New York Times bestseller. She has received the New England Booksellers Award, the John Dos Passos Prize for Excellence in Literature, and the North Carolina Award for Literature.
She has written for the New York Times Book Review, the Washington Post, the Boston Globe, Garden and Gun, the Atlantic, and other publications. She was a Briggs-Copeland Lecturer in Fiction at Harvard, where she also chaired the department of creative writing. She is currently a faculty member of the Bennington College Writing Seminars and is affiliated with the MFA program at North Carolina State University.