March 2016 Statesman Selects: WORK LIKE ANY OTHER by Virginia Reeves

BookPeople is proud to partner with the Austin American-Statesman for their monthly Statesman Selects program. Each month, BookPeople will highlight the Statesman’s top recommended read for Austin. March’s pick is Work Like Any Other by Virginia Reeves. Reeves will join us here at BookPeople Thursday, March 10 at 7PM to speak and sign her book. Pick up a copy of the Statesman on Sunday, March 6 to read their review of the book!

Work Like Any Other by Virginia Reeves


Hosting Michener Center authors always makes for a special night in our store. With so many people in the room deeply invested of projects of their own, there is a palpable sense of creativity and mutual support. We’re thrilled to host a Michener grad as she makes her big debut when Virginia Reeves joins us with Work Like Any Other, a tale of guilt and redemption set in 1920s Alabama.

Roscoe T. Martin is fascinated with power, the electrical kind. It becomes a source of pride for years as he finishes training to become a master electrician. It’s with great bitterness that he must give up his trade when his wife inherits her father’s failing farm, and it’s his continuing interest in electricity that leads to tragedy.

With the farming operation in shambles, Roscoe realizes his family is on the line too, so he puts his skills to use siphoning energy from the state, ushering in a period of bounty and happiness. But tragedy strikes when a young man working for the state power company stumbles on Roscoe’s illegal lines and is electrocuted. Roscoe is arrested; the farm once more starts to deteriorate; and Marie abandons her husband, leaving him to face his twenty-year sentence alone

In prison, it’s to work that Roscoe once again turns in his search for meaning.

“…a striking debut about love and redemption, the heavy burdens of family and guilt, and learning how to escape them…Virginia Reeves is a major new talent.” –Philipp Meyer, New York Times bestselling author of The Son

Work Like Any Other is an exceptional novel told in clear, direct, and starkly beautiful language. Virginia Reeves has a gift for bringing to life all the tensions that emerge wherever people, place, and progress collide. I absolutely loved it.”–Kevin Powers, author of The Yellow Birds

“The world of this exquisite novel – 1920s Alabama – hasn’t let go of me since I finished it. It’s gorgeous, painful, original, and so true in all its details. Reeves writes with incredibly intelligent compassion, and in Roscoe Martin has created an extraordinary man who more than earns his place among the complicated population of the literary South. Thick with dread and beauty, this is a stunning chronicle of a time, a place, and a mind.”–Fiona McFarlane, author of The Night Guest


Virginia Reeves is a graduate of the Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas at Austin. Her fiction has appeared in The Common and The Baltimore Review and has been short-listed for the Tennessee Williams Fiction Contest and the Alexander Patterson Cappon Fiction Award. She has spent the majority of her life in Montana, but currently lives in Austin, Texas, with her husband and two daughters. Work Like Any Other is her first novel.

“Maygold” by Virginia Reeves via The Common 


Race, Theft and the magic of Electricity in Rural Alabama – Trish Ping Interviews Debut Novelist Virginia Reeves via LitHub

Hope to see you here at BookPeople Thursday, March 10 when Virginia speaks & signs in our store!

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