Michael Bible’s tragic and sublime third novel tells the story of a massacre in a small Southern town and expands into a heart-breaking meditation on guilt, trauma and redemption.
In Harmony, North Carolina, the earth is soaked in blood. Lynchings and hangings; mobs and vigilante justice. But all of that is just whispers of history, lost to time. The summer of 2000 was different. Iggy in the Baptist church. Twenty-five people dead. This, Harmony couldn’t forget.
Told in a kaleidescope of timelines and voices, Michael Bible takes the reader through all of the dimensions of one tragedy. The victims and witnesses, perpetrators and condemned comingle and evolve as the passage of time works its way through their lives.
A fable of the American South that calls to mind William Faulkner and Carson McCullers, this is Bible’s finest and most complex work yet. His broken and striving characters call out to the reader from the page and the moral stakes have never been higher or more finely wrought.
“Vivid . . . well-written . . . Highlights in bracing clarity one town’s reckoning with a monstrous act.” —Publishers Weekly
“Nobody else is on Michael Bible’s planet. He distills all the pain and joy of our lives into the most evocative music, the purest medicine. He’s one of our greatest living artists. The Ancient Hours is brilliant.” —Bud Smith, author of Work
“In The Ancient Hours Michael Bible brilliantly maps the innate pain of a Carolina town over time. Through an assemblage of complex characters—anarchists and outlaws, fractured families, and lonely librarians, Bible creates a harrowed history that interrogates our present moment. This slim masterpiece might be the book you’ve been waiting for.” —Ryan Ridge, author of New Bad News
“Bible’s style is unique: swift, mythic without pretense, eccentric but focused.” —Literary Hub
“Poetic and with flashes of brilliance . . . we have a promising new writer here.” –NPR
“Bible’s talent is such that he knows how to take scripture and bend and twist it into something that can exist in both heaven and hell… Bible is a fantastic writer.” —Kevin Wilson, author of The Family Fang
“A singular new voice . . . [Michael Bible] is so open, so easy, so fluid, you’ll smile with joy turning every page.” —Barry Hannah, author of Airships
“Most contemporary fiction makes me wonder why people try to write anymore. Michael Bible helps me remember why.” —Blake Butler, author of Alice Knott
“Michael Bible has the golden hand of Carson McCullers and the joyous cosmic heart of Richard Brautigan.” –William Boyle, author of Gravesend and The Lonely Witness