book cover of Betty
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Betty

(2020)
A novel by

 
 
ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR
THE GUARDIAN • GLAMOUR

A stunning, lyrical novel set in the rolling foothills of the Appalachians about a young girl and the family truths that will haunt her for the rest of her life.


"A girl comes of age against the knife."

So begins the story of Betty Carpenter. Born in a bathtub in 1954 to a white mother and a Cherokee father, Betty is the sixth of eight siblings. The world they inhabit in the rural town of Breathed, Ohio, is one of poverty and violence--both from outside the family and, devastatingly, from within. The lush landscape, rich with birdsong, wild fruit, and blazing stars, becomes a kind of refuge for Betty, but when her family's darkest secrets are brought to light, she has no choice but to reckon with the brutal history hiding in the hills, as well as the heart-wrenching cruelties and incredible characters she encounters.

Despite the hardships she faces, Betty is resilient. Her curiosity about the natural world, her fierce love for her sisters, and her father's brilliant stories are kindling for the fire of her own imagination, and in the face of all to which she bears witness, Betty discovers an escape: she begins to write. She recounts the horrors of her family's past and present with pen and paper and buries them deep in the dirt--moments that have stung her so deeply she could not share them, until now.

Inspired by generations of her family, Tiffany McDaniel sets out to free the past by delivering this heartbreaking yet magical story--a remarkable novel that establishes her as one of the most important voices in American fiction.

Genre: Literary Fiction

Praise for this book

"This novel broke my brain. The lush, hypnotic prose, the voice, so authentic and compelling, as Betty Carpenter holds your hand and leads you through a world filled with familial tragedy. Each more haunting than the last, until you're left holding your breath, with a tourniquet on your heart. This is powerful, relentless storytelling at its best." - Jamie Ford

"Tiffany McDaniel has given us a vivid and haunting portrait of the writer as a young girl. Betty Carpenter survives the brutality of her childhood through her father's stories and his steadfast belief in her own. A novel of tragedy and trouble, poetry and power, not a story you will soon forget." - Karen Joy Fowler

"A painful, powerful, transcendent story . . . Tiffany McDaniel's distinctive, poetic prose lets us know at the outset that something unique is going on in these pages. Bit by bit, she draws us into her 'other world' with amazing skill; and, before we realize it, we are like wide-eyed children, enthralled as we once were, as we listened to a story from Grimm's Fairy Tales. Yet, this is no fairytale for children. Rather, it is an intricate, complex mosaic of myths that explores the ways in which the imagination can bring hope into our lives during difficult times. With her depth as a poet and her boldness as a storyteller, the author has created an unforgettable novel. It stays in our imagination, long after we've read the last word." - Gwyn Hyman Rubio

"Magical, densely lyrical and often disturbing. Tiffany McDaniel follows in the tradition of The Color Purple with her unflinching portrayal of the generational ripples of racism, poverty, and abuse. Shot through with moonshine, Bible verses, and folklore, Betty is about the cruelty we inflict on one another, the beauty we still manage to find, and the stories we tell in order to survive." - Eowyn Ivey

"Tiffany McDaniel gives voice to those on the fringes. Betty is a coming-of-age novel that has the courage to look into the darkness and to find the light. Betty Carpenter tells the story of her family with empathy and passion and heart. This is a book for anyone who's ever stood on the outside looking in, or for anyone who's ever scorned the unfortunate. It's a book for our uncertain times, one that has much to show us about family, about want, about love." - Lee Martin

"Betty is Betty Carpenter's gripping coming of age story and is bold, inventive and profoundly moving. It is not a story blind to the character's abuse, but also reveals the love, sweetness, and magic in her life. Betty is too brown, too female and too poor for the world, but her story reminds us that despite all obstacles there are those blessed times when we can still manage to find our voices and sing. A triumph!" - Stephanie Powell Watts


Similar books by other authors


Used availability for Tiffany McDaniel's Betty

Hardback Editions

August 2020 : UK Hardback
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Title: Betty: The International Bestseller
Author(s): Tiffany McDaniel
ISBN: 1-4746-1752-2 / 978-1-4746-1752-9 (UK edition)
Publisher: W&N
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU   


August 2020 : USA Hardback
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Title: Betty: A novel
Author(s): Tiffany McDaniel
ISBN: 0-525-65707-X / 978-0-525-65707-1 (USA edition)
Publisher: Knopf
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU   


Paperback Editions

July 2021 : Paperback
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Title: Betty: A novel
Author(s): Tiffany McDaniel
ISBN: 1-984897-94-2 / 978-1-984897-94-7
Publisher: Vintage
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


July 2021 : UK Paperback
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Title: Betty: The International Bestseller
Author(s): Tiffany McDaniel
ISBN: 1-4746-1754-9 / 978-1-4746-1754-3 (UK edition)
Publisher: W&N
Availability: Amazon UK   


September 2020 : USA Paperback
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Title: Betty: A novel (Random House Large Print)
Author(s): Tiffany McDaniel
ISBN: 0-593-34232-1 / 978-0-593-34232-9 (USA edition)
Publisher: Random House Large Print
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU   


August 2020 : UK Paperback
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Title: Betty: The International Bestseller (W&N)
Author(s): Tiffany McDaniel
ISBN: 1-4746-1753-0 / 978-1-4746-1753-6 (UK edition)
Publisher: W&N
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon AU   


August 2020 : USA Paperback
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Title: Betty: A Novel
Author(s): Tiffany McDaniel
ISBN: 1-5247-1185-3 / 978-1-5247-1185-6 (USA edition)
Publisher: Random House LCC US
Availability: Amazon UK   


Audio Editions

August 2020 : USA Audio edition
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Title: Betty
Author(s): Tiffany McDaniel
Publisher: Weidenfeld & Nicolson
Availability: Amazon   


August 2020 : Australia Audio edition
thumb

Title: Betty
Author(s): Tiffany McDaniel
Publisher: Weidenfeld & Nicolson
Availability: Amazon AU   


August 2020 : UK Audio edition
thumb

Title: Betty
Author(s): Tiffany McDaniel
Publisher: Weidenfeld & Nicolson
Availability: Amazon UK   


August 2020 : USA Audio edition
thumb

Title: Betty: A Novel
Author(s): Tiffany McDaniel
Publisher: Random House Audio
Availability: Amazon   


August 2020 : Canada Audio edition
thumb

Title: Betty: A Novel
Author(s): Tiffany McDaniel
Publisher: Random House Audio
Availability: Amazon CA   


Kindle Editions

August 2020 : USA, Canada Kindle edition
thumb

Title: Betty: A novel
Author(s): Tiffany McDaniel
Publisher: Knopf
Availability: Amazon   Amazon CA   


August 2020 : Australia, UK Kindle edition
thumb

Title: Betty: The International Bestseller
Author(s): Tiffany McDaniel
Publisher: Weidenfeld & Nicolson
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon AU