Ask the Author: “The Removed” with Brandon Hobson

Ask the Author:
The Removed with Brandon Hobson

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Join us for your book club fantasy come true. Our Ask the Author event with Brandon Hobson is a facilitated book club conversation WITH THE AUTHOR. This very special Drop-In Book Club will be led by our own Crescent Rainwater in conversation with you and Brandon Hobson about his novel, The Removed. Space will be limited to allow for group participation.


Tuesday, June 1

10:30am – 12pm

The safety and comfort of your own home.

Bathrobes or sweats encouraged.



Brandon Hobson is the author of the novel Where the Dead Sit Talking (Soho Press, 2018), which was a finalist for the 2018 National Book Award for Fiction and winner of the Reading the West Book Award. His other books include Desolation of Avenues Untold and the novella Deep Ellum. His work has appeared in The Pushcart Prize anthology, The Believer, The Paris Review Daily, Conjunctions, NOON, and McSweeney’s among other places. He is an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at New Mexico State University and teaches in the MFA Program at the Institute of American Indian Arts. Hobson is an enrolled citizen of the Cherokee Nation Tribe of Oklahoma.


Steeped in Cherokee myths and history, a novel about a fractured family reckoning with the tragic death of their son long ago — from National Book Award finalist Brandon Hobson.

In the fifteen years since their teenage son, Ray-Ray, was killed in a police shooting, the Echota family has been suspended in private grief. The mother, Maria, increasingly struggles to manage the onset of Alzheimer’s in her husband, Ernest. Their adult daughter, Sonja, leads a life of solitude, punctuated only by spells of dizzying romantic obsession. And their son, Edgar, fled home long ago, turning to drugs to mute his feelings of alienation.

With the family’s annual bonfire approaching — an occasion marking both the Cherokee National Holiday and Ray-Ray’s death, and a rare moment in which they openly talk about his memory — Maria attempts to call the family together from their physical and emotional distances once more. But as the bonfire draws near, each of them feels a strange blurring of the boundary between normal life and the spirit world. Maria and Ernest take in a foster child who seems to almost miraculously keep Ernest’s mental fog at bay. Sonja becomes dangerously fixated on a man named Vin, despite — or perhaps because of — his ties to tragedy in her lifetime and lifetimes before. And in the wake of a suicide attempt, Edgar finds himself in the mysterious Darkening Land: a place between the living and the dead, where old atrocities echo.

Drawing deeply on Cherokee folklore, The Removed seamlessly blends the real and spiritual to excavate the deep reverberations of trauma — a meditation on family, grief, home, and the power of stories on both a personal and ancestral level.