Prof. Chanelle Benz Lauded As ‘Riveting New Voice in American Fiction’

head and shoulder image of woman standing in front of a fence
(photo by Kim Newmoney)

Assistant Professor of English Chanelle Benz’s new novel, The Gone Dead, has been featured by The New York Times as one of the “12 New Books to Watch for in June.” 

In the novel, a woman returns to Greendale, MS, to the house once owned by her father, who died mysteriously in the woods behind the house. While there, she not only uncovers secrets about her family, but also reveals the town’s wounds.

New York Times bestselling author George Saunders calls Benz “a riveting new voice in American fiction.” Erica Ciccarone, culture editor for Nashville Scene, writes that Benz “dispenses with the regular signposts of Southern fiction—slamming screen doors, cicadas, sweet tea—in favor of refreshing, original imagery.” Publishers Weekly describes Benz’s book as a “beautiful and devastating portrait of the modern South.”

At Rhodes, Benz teaches fiction writing and topics in women and literature. She also teaches a course on the Mississippi Delta about race, history, and memory. Benz’s debut short story collection, The Man Who Shot Out My Eye Is Dead, was named a Best Book of 2017 by The San Francisco Chronicle.

The Gone Dead will be released June 25 by Ecco-HarperCollins Publisher, and can be ordered here.