“Lydia Peelle’s lovely, fluid voice lures you into a world full of heartbreak and devastation.... [Peelle] has the makings of a writer who defies labels and creates her own categories.”
-New York Times Book Review
"A collection of stories so artfully constructed and deeply imagined they read like classics. It marks the beginning of what will surely be a long and beautiful career."
"[The stories] read like fully formed classics, as if Bob Dylan was rewriting the stories of Alice Munro. These are eight clear and precise gems, deeply rooted in Southern soil, and alive with every pore to heartbreak and possibility."
-Louisville Courier Journal
"Lydia Peelle offers us fresh insight into the meaning of what is feral and what is tame."
With this first book of fiction, a gifted young writer brings together eight superbly crafted stories that peer deeply into the human heart, exploring lives derailed by the loss of a vital connection to the land and to the natural world of which they are a part.
An unexpected vision of the beauty and mystery of life redeems the darkest moments in this stellar debut collection, a book that readers will want to read and reread.
“Fully imagined... affecting... The Midnight Cool is undergirded by the considerable agility and charm of Peelle’s voice, and by her deeply attuned love of nature.”
-New York Times
A drama about the speciousness of the American dream and the costs of self-invention…The novel resists trite resolution. We may write our own stories, it suggests, but we can’t predict our endings.”
- New Yorker
“[It] offers a pertinent demonstration of the way homegrown xenophobia can feed off overseas terrors…Thankfully, the narrative’s multifarious hard-luck stories are also leavened with cunning flashes of humor.”
- New York Times Book Review
"Dark and delightful and achingly authentic, this is an exquisite story of love, war, sex, death, and mules. I couldn’t ask for a more beautiful book."
- Eleanor Henderson
"The Midnight Cool is the miraculous, rare novel that is as compulsively readable as it is beautifully written."
“Peelle is a writer to watch."
The Whiting Award winning author of the story collection Reasons for and Advantages of Breathing delivers her enchanting debut novel, set in 1916 Tennessee: a rich and rewarding tale of two flawed yet endearing grifters who pursue women, wealth, and a surprisingly valuable commodity for the troops in Europe : mules.
Populated by spirited, memorable characters, The Midnight Cool is a startlingly profound tale of aspiration, loyalty, and love and the eternal search for something lasting in a transitory world.