“Please check out Sanderia Faye’s new novel, Mourner’s Bench.It inspired, shook and awed me. So much funk in here!”

— Kiese Laymon author of Long Division

“One of the best reads for 2015!!!”

— Richard Johnson, former defensive end, Houston Oilers

“[A]n absorbing meditation on the meaning of religion in a small town as well as a keen-eyed perspective on the way one African-American community encountered the civil rights movement. An astute coming-of-age tale set against an all-too-relevant background.”

— Kirkus

“With Mourner’s Bench, Sanderia Faye announces herself as a bold, at times intoxicating, original voice in American fiction. This is a stunning debut.”

— Dennis Lehane, author of Gone Baby Gone, Mystic River, and Shutter Island

“Chapter by chapter, without ever seeming to struggle, Mourner’s Bench completely immerses us in small-town 1960’s Arkansas, a time and place of racial turmoil and social conflict that very much speaks to our own. Perhaps the greatest of the book’s many successes is the richness of its young protagonist, Sarah Jones, whose voice is so candid and whose difficulties are so involving that it’s impossible not to sympathize with her. As a result, your stance on the civil rights battle in which she finds herself embroiled evolves right along with hers, taking on unexpected nuances and complexities. Reading her story, no matter what you believe history might have taught us since, you feel as if the questions of racial justice are not only unresolved but barely yet asked.”

— Kevin Brockmeier, author of The Brief History of the Dead

“Brilliantly written, Mourner’s Bench takes the reader back to 1960s small-town Arkansas and tells a story about the public and private ways that black and white people worked for or resisted change. A powerful, brilliant book.”

— Vivienne Schiffer, author of Camp Nine

“Faye’s clear-eyed yet tender vision imbues this story of our difficult past with ringing hope for the future. This is a novel that lingers in your spirit like the bittersweet chords of a favorite song.”

— Tayari Jones, author of Silver Sparrow and Leaving Atlanta

“A quiet tour de force, a story of innocence and coming of age, beautifully told and brimming with life.”

— Rosalyn Story, author of Wading Home and More Than You Know

“Sanderia Faye’s portrait of life in a black community in rural Arkansas during the era of segregation is well-drawn, and her characters are unforgettable. The book is well-written and well-researched. It should be required reading for anyone seeking to understand a little-known chapter of civil rights history. This compelling novel will appeal to literary enthusiasts and history buffs alike.”

— Jennifer Jensen Wallach, co-editor of Arsnick: The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee in Arkansas