“When asked for a list of the best American writers of the younger generation, I invariably put Padgett Powell at the top.”
– Saul Bellow
National Book Award Finalist
A novel that has drawn comparisons with the work of J. D. Salinger, Truman Capote, and Flannery O’Connor, EDISTO centers on one Simons Everson Manigault, a twelve-year-old possessed of a vocabulary and sophistication way beyond his years and a preadolescent bewilderment with the behavior of adults. These include his mother, who is known as the Duchess, and his enigmatic father-surrogate, Taurus. Imbued with a strong sense of place—an isolated strip of South Carolina coast called Edisto—Padgett Powell’s 1984 debut novel is “truly remarkable . . . It reminds one of The Catcher in the Rye, but it’s better—sharper, funnier, more poignant.” (Walker Percy)
Padgett Powell has taught at the University of Florida MFA program for 25 years. For his seven books, which have been translated into ten languages, he has won the Whiting Foundation Award, the Pushcart Prize, the James Tait Black Prize, and the American Academy Prix de Rome; EDISTO was a finalist for the National Book Award. His writing has has appeared in Harper’s, The Paris Review, Esquire, and The New Yorker.