"Fascinating, intriguing, exciting...M. A. Harper is a fresh voice in Southern literature." --Emory M. Thomas

For The Love of Robert E. Lee

"An original and clever approach to a difficult storyline pulled off without a single misstep...A remarkable book." --CHATTANOOGA TIMES

"A richly imagined life." --TIME

"Original, fresh and winning." --Alix Madrigal, SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE

"I recently read a novel that I highly recommend: For the Love of Robert E. Lee, by M. A. Harper. Harper, according to the dust jacket, 'is the daughter of a South Carolina farmer. After 19 years in New Orleans, she recently returned to her family seat in Columbia.' The narrator of this novel, which was published in 1992 by the Soho Press of New York, is a spunky South Carolina eighth-grade girl named Garnet Laney, who falls in love, in 1963, with a portrait of Lee. Her school has recently been integrated. There are racial incidents, in which some of her white classmates behave badly. In these matters she is a two-fisted liberal—at one point she bloodies the nose of a bad white boy. Meanwhile, she is drifting back into the past to imagine—on plausible historical grounds—a love life for poor, unhappily married, incredibly handsome Marse Robert.

"The only teacher who comes close to understanding Garnet is her debate team coach, Mr. Damadian, an Armenian-American Peace Corps veteran from Queens, New York. 'I really like you people,' Damadian tells her. 'Frankly I expected Tobacco Road. Weekly lynchings. I don't know. But you guys aren't as vicious as you're cracked up to be.'

"Damadian means well. He and Garnet genuinely like each other. And here he is being sort of tongue-in-cheek, of course. But he is also presuming to express a measure of surprise that white Southerners don't have a visible mark of Cain. Here is Garnet's reaction: I couldn't look at him. I felt my cheeks hot, thinking: I hate this place but It's my home. It's for me to criticize. Don't discuss it in front of me like this with no idea that I might want to contradict you. I won't contradict you, but I am embarrassed by your assumption, Mr. Damadian.

"Yes. There was in fact a TV series about Southerners of that period, I'll Fly Away, which I'm told was pretty good but for some reason I never watched it. If For the Love of Robert E. Lee were turned into a series, by the right people, that I would watch."
–Roy Blount Jr., The Oxford American


"Is it really possible to recognize your soulmate at age sixteen? ...We've loved the Savoies... through pyrotechnics, passion, downright rapture, misfires, mishaps, and tragedy... but never before have we seen them in their guileless innocence... Welcome to adulthood, kids. It can burn with white heat, and it's always fatal." --Goodreads
"...an exciting journey from New Orleans to the banks of Bayou Lafourche... a suspenseful story of a family struggling to save one another... you may just call it magical."--Celeste Berteau, The New Orleans Advocate
"Stylishly written... A whopper of a ghost story... savvy and chilling."
"The magic here isn't really UFOs but rather the kind that allows the right people to find each other. Harper capably creates fully rounded portraits of her believable, scarred, sometimes-insecure, entirely lovable characters."
-Kirkus Reviews
"Tackles a difficult subject with wit and candor...Funny, sharp and tough-minded."
-Publishers Weekly
"A brilliant juxtaposition of two worlds…Provocative, endearing, and often funny."
-St. Louis Dispatch

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