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Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group


A Novel

Chris Hannan

Farrar, Straus and Giroux


Missy is laudanum, or liquid opium. Missy is Dol McQueen, a nineteen-year-old "flash-girl" traveling the arduous wagon trail from San Francisco to the boomtowns of the Sierra Nevada. Her purpose: to fleece the silver miners and to have a marvelous time.

Permanently gonged on missy, Dol and her entrepreneurial instincts wake up only when she comes into possession of a rum crate full of pure opium. But the crate has several owners, each more brutal than the last. Soon, instead of selling the boodle and opening her own establishment, Dol is fleeing across the salt flats and wastelands of the monumental American Southwest, where Civil War renegades, Native American mule thieves, and gangs of feral kids make hanging on to life a job for both hands.

Chris Hannan has mixed the irresistible Mark Twain of Roughing It with Annie Proulx's brilliantly macabre wordplay, and the result is a historical novel of startling originality, in which every detail rings true. Dol McQueen is the most engaging antiheroine since Becky Sharp, and she makes Missy a debut of terrific energy, freshness, and delight.

Praise for Missy

“Triumphant . . . Dol McQueen's story, and her near-perfect way of telling it, will last long after she's shoved off.” —San Francisco Chronicle

“A wonderful tale of America's Wild West.” —New York Post

“An adventure so hair-raising it makes Deadwood look positively staid in comparison. There hasn't been a fictional character this appealing and outrageous in a long, long time.” —Entertainment Weekly

“Spirited storytelling, with a heroine who has such a disarming way with words it's easy to listen for hours . . . Her voice is fast, fierce, and wonderfully descriptive.” —The Arizona Republic

“From the gorgeously sassy opening, it is surprising how winning, how powerful, the voice of Dol McQueen actually is. . . . Hannan has traversed the limits of history and given us a thoroughly modern woman, too.” —The Independent (UK)

“Chris Hannan's rowdy riot of a debut novel . . . is a blast.” —The Seattle Times

Chris Hannan

Chris Hannan is the author of several award-winning plays. He lives in Edinburgh, Scotland. Missy is his first novel.

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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