Mississippi-based poet and author

The Tilted World

 

The Tilted World

The Tilted World, Beth Ann’s fifth book, is a novel she co-authored with her husband, Tom Franklin. Published by Wm. Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins, in 2013, the novel is set during the 1927 flood of the Mississippi River. Translated into six languages, The Tilted World was an IndieNext Great Read; Southern Booksellers Association Okra Pick; 2013 LibraryReads pick; San Francisco Librarian’s Best Books of 2013 and Uncut Magazine’s Best Books of 2013. It was a 2014 SIBA Book Award Finalist and 2014 Crime Thriller Book Award Finalist (UK).

A captivating Deep South drama that unfolds in the spring of 1927 as the rising, roiling waters of the Mississippi River head toward an epic and catastrophic flood. . . . a beautifully written, smartly crafted thriller that offers many delights . . . With romantic twists and tense scenes that make it hard to put down, the book is a pleasure . . . The writing is deft and memorable, at times potent with emotional punch.
— ASSOCIATED PRESS
A new novel from Tom Franklin is always a reason to get excited, but a novel from Franklin and Fennelly is just cause to throw a block party.
— DENNIS LEHANE
The story is intricately plotted—a breath-catching thriller—but beyond that, it’s also a clean and lyrical narrative, thus producing a rare literary combo, one that tempts you to ration yourself to ten pages a night, and to tell your friends that it’s the real thing, a literary thriller... The writing fits a multitude of nuances and effects. You will experience a sprawling story of conflict, disorder, shame, and horror that is umbrellaed by an even bigger story—one of love.
— CLYDE EDGERTON, GARDEN & GUN
The husband-and- wife writing team of Tom Franklin and Beth Ann Fennelly navigate the flood in their massive new novel The Tilted World. It is a masterful effort. . . . A tale that deserves comparison to Charles Frazier’s Cold Mountain, another literary novel with plenty of action.
— WILMINGTON STAR NEWS (NC)
The Tilted World is everything I hold dear in a novel—a raucous, page-turning story with grit, utterly steeped in the land and people, and told in such poetic language that I forced myself to slow down so I could enjoy it. It’s hard to remember that this is the work of a team rather than a singular, inspired mind. I hope this is the first of many novels from Franklin and Fennelly—together they offer a unique and captivating voice.
— EOWYN IVEY, AUTHOR OF THE THE SNOW CHILD
Franklin is enamored of the people and history of the South. Poet Fennelly finds inspiration in the secret anxieties and joys of parenthood. Together, the husband-and- wife team created Dixie Clay, struggling to find closure after the loss of her child . . . A pleasurable work of historical fiction rife with religious symbolism and romance.
— LIBRARY JOURNAL
A suspenseful, emotionally moving novel . . . The authors superbly depict the bonds of maternal, romantic, and brotherly love, and their slangy dialogue and piquant metaphors enrich their setting. This is a full-bodied shot of bluesy Americana with just the right amount of grit, heart, and woeful longing, and it goes down smooth and satisfying.
— BOOKLIST (STARRED REVIEW)
[A] prohibition-era tale of bootleggers and revenuers, an atmospheric draught of prose that is at once poetic and gritty. . . . fans of Fennelly will savor her depictions of a mother’s ferocious love, and Franklin’s following will shine to the violent rendering of a nearly forgotten time and ethos.
— PUBLISHERS WEEKLY
A swift, soulful mix of love story and crime saga . . . evocative characters and unpretentious but shapely prose . . . literary crime fiction of the highest order.
— SEATTLE TIMES
While The Tilted World is beautifully told from beginning to end, the memorable narration does not sacrifice the story of these star-crossed, erstwhile lovers whose entire world is on the brink of both salvation and tragedy. Franklin and Fennelly take the first two thirds of the book to set things up, and spend the last third pushing their readers to the edge of their seats. This is a strong, frightening and ultimately uplifting tale of redemption and justice that will not be easily forgotten.
— BOOKREPORTER.COM
The Tilted World is a beautiful and thrilling story. With lush language and the urgency of a sandbag operation, Fennelly and Franklin capture the texture of southern life during Prohibition in ‘poor cotton country’ in a year when the rains won’t stop. Dixie Clay is irresistible, an American original, a girl who shoots, bargains, and bootlegs (and falls in love) with the best of them, and the descriptions of the Mississippi gone mad will haunt my dreams. And though it seems rather obvious: This story swept me away.
— BONNIE JO CAMPBELL, AUTHOR OF ONCE UPON A RIVER
An epic tale of loyalty and betrayal that plays out in the shadows of the artificially heightened levees . . . the most satisfying aspect of the novel is the vivid characterization as Dixie Clay and Ingersoll struggle to dovetail their respective interpretations of right and wrong.
— IRISH TIMES