At Briarwood
School for Girls

by Michael Knight


Grove/Atlantic, Inc. / 304 pages / ISBN 978-0-8021-2842-3 / April 2, 2019


Read More


“Knight’s writing is, indeed, gorgeous. The influence of the best of southern novels comes through in his work; those dripping details of place that somehow capture the leaf-filtered light, the organic decay, the heavy weight of unsaid words and unsaid past.”
—Christian Science Monitor


More Reviews

Michael Knight At Briarwood School for Girls Tour Schedule


Charlottesville, VA
March 20, 2019, 4pm
Virginia Festival of the Book
Central JMRL Library
201 E Market Street
Charlottesville, VA 22902

Knoxville, TN
April 4, 2019, 6pm
Union Ave. Books
517 Union Ave.
Knoxville, TN 37902

Birmingham, AL
April 6, 2019, 2pm
Alabama Booksmith
2626 19th Place South
Birmingham, AL 35209

Los Angeles, CA
April 13, 2019, 4–5pm
LA Times Festival of Books
University of Southern California
Mudd Hall, Rm 203
Los Angeles, CA 90089

Richmond, VA
May 1, 2019, 6:30pm
Fountain Bookstore
1312 East Cary St.
Richmond, VA 23219

Williamsburg, VA
May 2, 2019, 7pm
Barnes & Noble
5101 Main St.
Williamsburg, VA 23188

Washington, DC
May 3, 2019, 7–9pm
Loyalty Books
827 Upshur St. NW
Washington, DC 20011

Southern Pines, NC
May 8, 2019, 5pm
Country Bookshop
140 NW Broad St.
Southern Pines, NC 28387

Atlanta, GA
May 9, 2019, 7pm
A Cappella Books at The Wrecking Bar
292 Moreland Ave. NE
Atlanta, GA 30307

Tallahassee, FL
May 13, 2019, 6pm
Midtown Reader
1123 Thomasville Rd.
Tallahassee, FL 32303

Fairhope, AL
May 14, 2019, 6pm
Page and Palette
32 South Section St.
Fairhope, AL 36532

Jackson, MS
May 15, 2019, 5pm
Lemuria Bookstore
4465 N Hwy 55
Jackson, MS 39206

Oxford, MS
May 16, 2019, 5:30pm
Square Books
160 Courthouse Square
Oxford, MS 38655

Nashville, TN
May 29, 2019, 6:30pm
Parnassus Bookstore
3900 Hillsboro Pike
Nashville, TN 37215

Tampa, FL
June 3, 2019, 6:30pm
Oxford Exchange
420 W. Kennedy Blvd.
Tampa, FL 33606

Praise for At Briarwood School For Girls


A deft, charming Southern coming-of-age novel—one that pays both attention and tribute to the legacy of the million-pound behemoth in that genre, To Kill a Mockingbird . . . A quick-paced, sharp, cleverly designed book by a talented writer.”

—Kirkus Reviews

Knight’s characters are memorable and nuanced—a credit to his sharp, skillful writing. This is a stunning novel with a hint of the supernatural that’s sure to delight readers.”

—Publisher’s Weekly

Reality and the supernatural intersect, as do false impressions and true selves, cultivating a sense both of earned wisdom and lingering mystery. Knight manages somehow to employ a number of tropes — coming of age, the conflict between progress and preservation, the tricky politics of private schools and the yearnings of midlife — while nimbly shunning their familiar conventions, making them altogether his own. The result is a deep, luminous work of art, as pleasing as it is — yes — haunting.”

—Ed Tarkington, Chapter 16

I love Michael Knight’s ability to turn a phrase and tell us about everything we need to know about a character in one sharp sentence.”

—Rebecca Joines-Schinsky, Book Riot

A tightly written story set in Virginia deals with big Southern themes—history, land development, race relations—but at its heart is a coming-of-age novel centering around a prep school junior named Lenore Littlefield who has a secret she can’t keep forever.”

—Garden and Gun

Knight’s writing is, indeed, gorgeous. The influence of the best of southern novels comes through in his work; those dripping details of place that somehow capture the leaf-filtered light, the organic decay, the heavy weight of unsaid words and unsaid past.”

—Christian Science Monitor

Praise for Eveningland


Looking for a fresh masterpiece of Southern fiction? Try Eveningland . . . Knight's prose is touching, haunting and brilliant.”

—Dallas Morning News

The spirit of Eudora Welty broods over these adroitly crafted stories set in and around coastal Alabama, evoking a world coiled tight as a conch shell.”

—O Magazine

A thought-provoking and deeply satisfying reading experience, Eveningland evokes the Old South without sentimentalizing its loss.”

—Washington Independent Review of Books

Sublime . . . Profound . . . While reading Eveningland, I couldn’t help but be reminded of another legendary Alabama-born story writer: the great Tobias Wolff. Like Wolff, the brilliance of Knight’s economy is most obvious in his endings, which nearly every time achieve a difficult, two-pronged task: not only do they recast and contextualize each sentence leading up to it, but extend the stories’ and the characters’ potential into an imaginative infinity. Also like Wolff, Knight has a generous heart and an eye for quirky, comedic irony.”

—David Byron Queen, Deep South Magazine

Throughout this collection, the beauty and danger of Mobile Bay itself becomes a barometer of the characters’ choices and the larger forces which press on their lives. Sometimes the gentle tides of the water bring quiet reassurance, though loss, too, can arrive like a slow, encroaching threat, imperceptible from the shore...Eveningland is tough to put down, thanks to Knight’s masterful command of pacing and suspense. The stories make surprising reversals, and in the process they leave us with the same feeling toward these characters that the Bay instills in them—a sense that whatever the upheavals and changeability of weather may reveal to us, deeper, unreachable mysteries will always lurk beneath the surface.”

—Emily Choate, Chapter 16

First things first: Michael Knight’s prose is pristine, as watertight as the skiffs, barges, and tankers that occupy Mobile Bay...The South is present here—fresh crabmeat, Spanish moss, reverberations of the Civil War—but never nostalgic or self-indulgent. A sense of place and past is strong, but it never overshadows the compelling human narratives at the center of every story...Eveningland is both expansive and contained, exploratory and insular...Each piece is as impeccable and varied as Knight’s readers have come to expect.”

—Kevin Kotur, The Kansas City Star

The interconnected stories in this exquisitely crafted collection explore the lives of characters living in and around Mobile, Ala., in the years preceding the destruction wrought by a fictional hurricane. A master of the short story, Knight (The Typist) distills some of life’s most significant and transformative experiences into a deceptively small amount of space...Peppered throughout with regional history that firmly places the reader in the collection’s southern setting, these often funny and heartfelt stories explore life in its messy fullness while also exuding a deep, wistful wisdom.”

—Publisher’s Weekly starred review

read complete review >

Knight’s style is deceptively plainspoken, with low-key wit and a laconic precision that often ripens, as a story proceeds, into poignancy...the centerpiece and triumph of the collection is its closing novella, Landfall, which tells with enormous finesse, speed, and concision, like a family saga in demi-glace reduction, the mingled stories of a shipyard-owning family—the widow of the paterfamilias, her daughter and two sons, the daughter’s two daughters, one son’s beloved dog—as a hurricane bears down on Mobile. From a distinguished Southern writer, a very fine collection capped by a masterful novella.”

—Kirkus Reviews starred review

read complete review >

The characters in Michael Knight’s linked story collection, Eveningland, live in the finer precincts of Mobile, Alabama, or else across the bay in blithe Fairhope...what links these stories isn’t the cursory connections that characters in one tale have with those in another—on occasion they’ll hop over to another story for a cocktail—nor is it Knight’s calibrated sociological rendering, his narrative taxonomy of this Gulf Coast tribe. What binds this collection instead, and what ultimately imbues Eveningland with novelistic force, is the growing, smudgy presence of a cloud on the horizon, in some cases both literal and figurative, toward which every story tilts.”

—Jonathan Miles

for Garden & Gun, February/March 2017

“This new collection gives us a handful of new, shorter gems and one long, beautiful piece you’ll not be able to forget. With each selection, Knight finds people in crisis and he makes that crisis both deeply personal and deeply universal. His literary god-uncles, Fitzgerald and Cheever, would be proud of their nephew and his work. As for the rest of us, how fortunate we are, how truly fortunate, to be able to read his fiction. Michael Knight is an American master.”

—Tom Franklin

author of Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter

There’s something almost holy in the way Michael Knight writes about his native Alabama, emotional honesty and acuteness of vision leavened with genuine reverence for these people and this place. Taken individually these stories are beautifully crafted—often funny, just as often heartbreaking, always surprising. Taken together, they paint a portrait that is on its surface as refined as the region’s most wistful vision of itself. Beneath that gracious veneer, however, lurk depths of loss and longing that speak to what it means to be alive no matter where you live.”

—Adam Johnson

author of The Orphan Master's Son

Michael Knight is a supremely gifted writer and his latest collection—Eveningland—offers rich and lasting proof of this on every page. I am in awe of how skillfully he manages tension and suspense on the page—a slow burning flame that might explode or not, might manifest as tragedy in the physical world or simply the painful collapse of a human heart. There is humor and grief and an aching sense of longing that is nearly impossible to catch and put on the page. But Michael Knight does it and not only that, he does it beautifully.”

—Jill McCorkle

author of Life After Life

Books



In his powerful new short story cycle, Alabama-born short story virtuoso Michael Knight illuminates the everyday beauty and heartache of life along the shores of serene, history-haunted Mobile Bay in the years preceding a devastating hurricane.

Eveningland / Stories / Cloth ISBN 978-0-8021-2597-2 / 304 pp. / Mar. 2017

ORDER

Indiebound, B&N, Books-A-Million, Hudson Booksellers, Amazon


“Michael Knight tells the story of generals, war, and occupation through the eyes of a typist who proves himself to be the calm at the center of the storm. The result is this elegant, thoughtful, and resonant novel.”
—Ann Patchett, author of Bel Canto

The Typist / A Novel / Cloth ISBN 978-0-8021-4536-9 / 209 pp. / Aug. 2010

ORDER

Indiebound, B&N, Books-A-Million, Hudson Booksellers, Amazon




“. . . There is a long tradition of fiction using holiday gatherings as a vehicle for examining relationships under stress...Michael Knight’s The Holiday Season joins this crowded table and makes itself at home.”
—Floyd Skloot, The New York Times Book Review

The Holiday Season / Novellas / Cloth ISBN 978-0-8021-1857-8 / 144 pp. / Nov. 2007

ORDER

Indiebound, B&N, Books-A-Million, Hudson Booksellers, Amazon




“Arresting . . . Knight has the rare power to make a setting breathe, to invest it with a vitality that seems as authentic and intense as the pulsebeats of his characters.”
—Jonathan Miles,
The New York Times Book Review

Goodnight, Nobody / Stories / Cloth ISBN 978-0-8711-3867-5 / 192 pp. / Feb. 2003

ORDER

Indiebound, B&N, Books-A-Million, Hudson Booksellers, Amazon




“Every word in this deeply resonant novel is pure gold.” ”
—The Washington Post Book World


“A novel by a writer of the first rank.”
—Esquire


“Spellbinding.”
—Redbook

Divining Rod / A Novel / Cloth ISBN 978-0-8021-4497-3 / 144 pp. / Oct. 1998

ORDER

Indiebound, B&N, Books-A-Million, Hudson Booksellers, Amazon




“Ten stories cut like gems from American family life.”
—Los Angeles Times


“[These stories] gather their considerable power not from stylistic flash or conceptual cleverness but from the fact that they tell us only what we need to know.”
—Playboy

Dogfight / Stories / Cloth ISBN 978-0-8021-4330-3 / 160 pp. / Oct. 1998

ORDER

Indiebound, B&N, Books-A-Million, Hudson Booksellers, Amazon