Son of a Gun
“Spectacular … a parable for our time and our nation … if the brilliance of 'Son of a Gun' lies in its restraint, its importance lies in the generosity of the author's insights."
About the Book
Winner of the 2013 Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Award in Nonfiction
In the tradition of Tobias Wolff, James Ellroy, and Mary Karr, a brave and unforgettable memoir of a mother-son relationship that is also an unflinching account of a murder and its aftermath.
Tombstone, Arizona, September 2001. Debbie St. Germain’s killing in her remote trailer, apparently at the hands of her fifth husband, is a passing curiosity in the local community. But for her twenty- year-old son, Justin St. Germain, the tragedy marks the line that separates his world into before and after. Years later, he is pulled back to the desert landscape of his childhood on a search to make sense of the unfathomable. What made his mother, an ex-army paratrooper, the type of woman who would stand up to any man except the men she was in love with? What led her to move from place to place until finally she found herself in a desperate and deteriorating situation, living on an isolated patch of land with an unstable ex-cop? Justin decides to confront people from his past and delves into the police records in an attempt to make sense of his mother’s life and death. All the while he tries to be the type of man she would have wanted him to be.
Named a Best Book of 2013 by Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, Library Journal, BookPage, Salon, and Pima County Public Library; a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection; The Arizona Republic/Changing Hands Bookstore Book of the Month for September; an Oprah.com Book of the Week; The New York Times Book Review Editor's Choice
–Julia Keller, NPR
-Benjamin Percy, author of Red Moon, The Wilding, and Refresh, Refresh
–Colm Tóibín, author of Brooklyn and The Testament of Mary
–Claire Vaye Watkins, author of Battleborn
–Jesmyn Ward, author of Salvage the Bones, winner of the National Book Award
–Kevin Powers, author of The Yellow Birds
Justin St. Germain grew up in Tombstone, Arizona, "The Town Too Tough to Die." He attended the University of Arizona and was a Wallace Stegner Fellow and Marsh McCall Lecturer at Stanford. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Guardian, the Best of the West anthology, and in many other journals, magazines, and anthologies. He teaches at Oregon State University.