THE KUDZU QUEEN
ABOUT THE BOOK
“Funny, sad, and tender… Mimi Herman has written a novel that possesses a true and hard won understanding of the South.” —David Sedaris, author of Happy-Go-Lucky
Fifteen-year-old Mattie Lee Watson dreams of men, not boys. So when James T. Cullowee, the Kudzu King, arrives in Cooper County, North Carolina in 1941 to spread the gospel of kudzu—claiming that it will improve the soil, feed cattle at almost no cost, even cure headaches—Mattie is ready. Mr. Cullowee is determined to sell the entire county on the future of kudzu, and organizes a kudzu festival, complete with a beauty pageant. Mattie is determined to be crowned Kudzu Queen and capture the attentions of the Kudzu King. As she learns more about Cullowee, however, she discovers that he, like the kudzu he promotes, has a dark and predatory side. When she finds she is not the only one threatened, she devises a plan to bring him down. Based on historical facts, The Kudzu Queen unravels a tangle of sexuality, power, race, and kudzu through the voice of an irresistibly delightful (and mostly honest) narrator.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mimi Herman is the author of A Field Guide to Human Emotions and Logophilia. She codirects Writeaways writing workshops in the United States and abroad, and is a Kennedy Center Teaching Artist. Mimi lives in a 1925 bungalow in Durham, North Carolina.