Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
Until That Good Day

Until That Good Day

A Novel

Marjorie Kemper

Thomas Dunne Books




Until That Good Day is a stunning debut novel loosely based on the Marjorie Kemper's family history. Set in Louisiana in the 1930's, the story revolves around John Washington, a successful traveling salesman who "passes" in the white community. John's young daughter Vivien is a lulu of an unreliable narrator with charm to spare. Profoundly moving as well as comical and sweet, this is a haunting story with dynamite characters from a literary-prize-winning author.


The long years that will turn the dross of John Washington's life into the silver cloth of the family myth that I tell here are hidden from him. Until that far-off day, when the myth will take over from him, John regards himself as the sole...


Praise for Until That Good Day

Until That Good Day gave me great pleasure. It was a story and a voice that I looked forward to six nights running. Marjorie Kemper writes such lively and witty prose that delight invites you in -- and then you are caught up by a story that runs deeper and more powerfully with every chapter. Marjorie Kemper has a sense of history, a sense of humor and a sense of life.” —John Casey, author of Spartina

“Marjorie Kemper's first book has more points of view than a prism, an agreeable old Williams/Capote/McCullers lilt to it, and an unassuming, strong declarative power that gives the reader a very good feeling. Magnolias and miscegenation -- it's a bit of a romp.” —Padgett Powell, author of Edisto

“[Kemper] dispatches good people and beloved animals alike without undue schmaltz, and her observations can be as vinegary as Carolina barbecue. She can sum up characters with one beautifully offhand sentence . . . . can plot, her characters are a delight, and her prose is as simple and plain as good homemade biscuits. And as any Southern cook can tell you, good biscuits aren't that easy to make.” —Washington Post

“Kemper's first novel is filled with vivid descriptions and populated with wonderfully drawn characters, each telling part of the story in a distinct and clear voice. Reality is tempered with portentous dreams that add just a hint of bayou magic, which helps confirm this novel's place in the colorful southern tradition.” —Booklist

“An intriguing period piece that enables the audience to visualize life in the Lower Mississippi during the Depression. Marjorie Kemper provides a deep character study that shines on a way of life that feels almost ancient though it is only decades ago.” —Midwest Book Review

“The narrative voice, confident yet relaxed, is that of a good friend who dropped by to talk and sip iced tea.” —New Orleans Time-Picayune

“[E]very color and definitely flavorful. Kemper can write! Her metaphors are so fresh I found myself stepping from the story to admire them . . . [A] stunning piece of work and a sure-fire Oprah pick” —The Raleigh News & Observer

“Interesting, well-drawn characters.” —Atlanta Journal-Constitution

“Profound insight” —Forbes Book Club

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

Marjorie Kemper

Marjorie Kemper is the winner of the Deep South Writer's Conference Burden Award, an O. Henry Prize Stories 2003, and has been a finalist in the Katherine Anne Porter Fiction Contest. Her short fiction has been published by The Atlantic Monthly and other literary magazines. She lives in Glendale, California.

Marjorie Kemper

From the Publisher

Thomas Dunne Books

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