Brandon Hobson

Cindy Seip

Brandon Hobson, a citizen of the Cherokee Nation Tribe of Oklahoma, is the author of Where the Dead Sit Talking, a 2018 National Book Award for Fiction finalist and winner of a Reading the West Book Award. Other books include Desolation of Avenues Untold and the novella Deep Ellum, and his work has appeared in the Pushcart Prize anthology The Believer, The Paris Review, and elsewhere. Hobson’s latest work, The Removed: A Novel (Ecco), tells the story of the Echota family, suspended in grief 15 years after the death of teenage son Ray-Ray, who was killed in a police shooting. The boy’s mother, Maria, struggles to manage her husband Ernest’s Alzheimer’s. Their daughter, Sonja, leads a life of solitude, punctuated only by spells of romantic obsession. And their son Edgar fled home long ago, turning to drugs to mute his feelings of alienation. The family’s annual bonfire is approaching, an occasion marking the Cherokee National Holiday and Ray-Ray’s death. But as the event draws near, each of them feels a blurring of the boundary between daily life and the spirit world. Drawing on Cherokee folklore, Hobson offers a meditation on family, grief, home, and the power of stories on both a personal and ancestral level. The Los Angeles Times called it “extraordinary … [Hobson’s] carved a striking new benchmark for fiction about Native Americans.”