OVERRIDE

Young God

A Novel

Katherine Faw Morris

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Stripped down and stylized—the sharpest, boldest, brashest debut of the year


Meet Nikki, the most determined young woman in the North Carolina hills. Determined not to let deadbeats and dropouts set her future. Determined to use whatever tools she can get her hands on to shape the world to her will. Determined to preserve her family’s domination of the local drug trade. Nikki is thirteen years old.
     Opening with a deadly plunge from a high cliff into a tiny swimming hole, Young God refuses to slow down for a moment as it charts Nikki’s battles against isolation and victimhood. Nikki may be young, but she's a fast learner, and soon—perhaps too soon, if in fact it's not too late—she knows exactly how to wield her powers over the people around her. The only thing slowing her down is the inheritance she's been promised but can't seem to find, buried somewhere deep in those hills and always just out of reach. 
     With prose stripped down to its bare essence, brash and electrifying, brutal yet starkly beautiful, Katherine Faw Morris's Young God is a debut that demands your attention and won't be forgotten—just like Nikki, who will cut you if you let that attention waver.

BOOK EXCERPTS

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ONE
 
 
NIKKI IS ALL TO HELL. A boy jumps off the cliff in front of her. She peers over the edge, watching him go.
“Nikki.”
She clenches her toes. The river is druggy and yellow and slugs next to the bottom road for miles before suddenly whipping itself into rapids and dumping, white and frothy, over the edge of this cliff.
“Nikki.”
Sixty or seventy or eighty feet below is the swimming hole.
“Nikki.”
“How far down is it?”
“Like a hundred feet,” Wesley says.
Wesley squats near her feet. He wants
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  • The Originals Series Katherine Faw Morris and Deniro Farrar

    The Originals Series presents YOUNG GOD author Katherine Faw Morris and Deniro Farrar in our first-ever outdoor production, hosted by BuzzFeed's Isaac Fitzgerald at Interstate. Video by Lopez Williams.

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REVIEWS

Praise for Young God

"This book is so clean and dirty: thirteen-year-old Nikki’s nipples pop like buttons; Kool Kings come in a hard box; white goo tastes a little salty but mostly like nothing. The best dreams are of nothing. Except that it is not nothing. It is charged white space: These pages happen to you and now you’re awakening, groping groggily to reconstruct. Get mixed up by it. Enter the single-wide and find some ecstasy with Katherine Faw Morris." —Richard Hell

"Like a bullet, like a bolt of lightning, like a speeding car, this debut novel goes faster and harder than anything you’re likely to read this year. Welcome to an astonishing talent, and an unforgettable heroine." —Stacey D’Erasmo, author of The Art of Intimacy

"This is maybe the best first novel I’ve read since Fight Club. It comes on like a few too many pulls of Wilkes County moonshine chased with some kind of punk rock Lucinda Williams and finishes with a hit of Dorothy Allison’s Bastard Out of Carolina. Raw, spare, and goddamned poetic, this badass debut will haunt you." —Frank Bill, author of Crimes in Southern Indiana and Donnybrook

"Sweet Jesus is Young God terrifying and great. Katherine Faw Morris’s style is singular and ferocious and Nikki is one of the toughest, most electrifying, most unforgettable heroines I have ever encountered on the page. This is a furious blaze of a book that will rough you up and reorder your sense of the world and what’s possible in it. It’s a debut for the ages. Read it." —Laura van den Berg, author of The Isle of Youth

"Young God is a poetic, grim, and beautifully dark novel about backwoods violence and horror recounted in a numbed, laconic voice. Morris writes with splendid economy, chapters short as contes, and plenty of slashing insights on the rough world of throwaway lives and varieties of wrong." —Daniel Woodrell, author of Winter’s Bone

Reviews from Goodreads

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Available Formats and Book Details

Young God

A Novel

Katherine Faw Morris

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FROM THE PUBLISHER

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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