September 2009 Indie Next List
“Peculiar' and 'compelling' best describe this novel, where loss and identity are closely intertwined and where youthful misunderstandings can have lethal and heartbreaking consequences in adulthood. Wallace is a masterful storyteller, blurring the line between magic and reality.”
— Emily Crowe, Odyssey Bookshop, South Hadley, MA
Henry Walker was once a world-class magician, performing to sold-out shows in New York. But now he has been reduced to joining Musgrove's Chinese Circus (which at no point in its tour of the deep South has ever included a single Chinese person) as the shambling Negro Magician, whose dark black skin and electric green eyes bewitch most audiences. But one balmy Mississippi night in 1954, Henry disappears in the company of three rowdy white teens and is never seen again. Wallace pieces together Henry's incredible vagabond life - from a deal with a bone-white devil known only as Mr. Sebastian, to the heartrending loss of his sister Hannah - and creates an enchanting tale of love, loss, identity, and the limitation of magic.
About the Author
Daniel Wallace has published stories in numerous magazines, including "Story", "Glimmer Train", "Prairie Schooner", and "Shenandoah". His first novel, "Big Fish", was translated into German, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, and Chinese. Raised in Birmingham, Alabama, Daniel Wallace now lives with his son, Henry, in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, where he also works as an illustrator.
“Poignant and provocative. . . .Wallace's lush verbal invention [is] his real genius.” —Los Angeles Times“Powerful. . . . A magical and thoroughly absorbing story about the dangers and deceptions of appearances.”—Minneapolis-St. Paul Star-Tribune “Wallace writes with a heartbreaking kind of razzle-dazzle.”—USA Today“What a pleasure it is to be able to read a book and be able to say, without qualification, this is terrific. . . .This novel is Daniel Wallace's best.” —National Public Radio