Tuesday, April 18, 2023

Seven books overgrown with plants

Katy Simpson Smith was born and raised in Jackson, Mississippi. She is the author of the novels The Story of Land and Sea, a New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice and one of Vogue’s Best Books of 2014; Free Men; and The Everlasting, a New York Times Best Historical Fiction Book of 2020. Her writing has also appeared in The Washington Post, The Paris Review, The Los Angeles Review of Books, Oxford American, Granta, and elsewhere. She received a PhD in history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an MFA from the Bennington Writing Seminars, and is also the author of We Have Raised All of You: Motherhood in the South, 1750-1835. She lives in New Orleans.

[Writers Read: Katy Simpson Smith (March 2020); My Book, The Movie: The Everlasting; The Page 69 Test: The Everlasting]

Her new novel is The Weeds.

At Electric Lit the author tagged seven "books where botany is part of the plot device," including:
Hex by Rebecca Dinerstein Knight

This deliciously witchy novel opens with a grad student poisoned to death in her own toxicology lab; the narrator, a young woman roiling with a dangerous combination of love and ambition, is trying to find the antidote to aconite—a wildflower known, fittingly, as women’s-bane. While the plants here are deadly, the chief draw is Knight’s prose: pungent and funny and wise, and evidence that a plant’s power extends far beyond its prettiness.
Read about another entry on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue