Rules for Being Dead (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

There is nothing I don't love about this book!  Tragic and funny in turns...sometimes on the same page.  Late 1960's McKinney, Texas: a 10-year-old Clarke's mother dies in mysterious circumstances leaving him and his younger brother motherless with an alcoholic father.  While trying to solve the mystery of her death, he is watched over by her ghost who is stranded between this world and who knows what, also confused about how she died.  This big-hearted book is a quick read full of loss and redemption, old Hollywood, and the aching powerlessness of childhood as well as a sweet portrayal of its innocence.  I simply cannot recommend it highly enough!

— From Kelly


"Kim Powers's haunting and spellbinding novel Rules for Being Dead reads like an intoxicating blend of the best of Shirley Jackson, Alice Sebold and Fannie Flagg." --STARRED Review, Shelf Awareness

It's the late 1960s in McKinney, Texas. At the downtown theater and the local drive-in, movies--James Bond, My Fair Lady, Alfie, and Dr. Zhivago--feed the dreams and obsessions of a ten-year-old Clarke who loves Audrey, Elvis, his family, and the handsome boy in the projector booth. Then Clarke loses his beloved mother, and no one will tell him how she died. No one will tell her either. She is floating above the trees and movie screens of McKinney, trapped between life and death, searching for a glimpse of her final moments on this earth. Clarke must find the shattering truth, which haunts this darkly humorous and incredibly moving novel.

About the Author

Kim Powers is a two-time Emmy winner and author of the novels Capote in Kansas and Dig Two Graves, as well as the memoir The History of Swimming, a Barnes & Noble Discover Award winner and Lambda Literary Award finalist for Best Memoir of the Year. He also wrote the screenplay for the festival-favorite indie film Finding North and the new play Sidekicked, a "one broad comedy" about Vivian Vance. Powers is the Senior Writer for ABC's 20/20, part of the team that has received three consecutive Edward R. Murrow Awards. A native Texan, he received an MFA from the Yale School of Drama. In 2007, he was selected by Out Magazine for the influential "Out 100" list. He lives in Manhattan and Asbury Park, NJ.

Product Details
ISBN: 9781949467352
ISBN-10: 194946735X
Publisher: Blair
Publication Date: August 4th, 2020
Pages: 312
Language: English