A bighearted debut with technicolor characters, plenty of Texas swagger, and a powder keg of a plot in which marriages struggle, rivalries flare, and secrets explode, all with a clever wink toward classical mythology.
The Briscoe...Read More
The Briscoe family is once again the talk of their small town when March returns to East Texas two years after he was caught having an affair with his brother's wife. His mother, June, hardly welcomes him back with open arms. Her husband's own past affairs have made her tired of being the long-suffering spouse. Is it, perhaps, time for a change? Within days of March's arrival, someone is dead, marriages are upended, and even the strongest of alliances are shattered. In the end, the ties that hold them together might be exactly what drag them all down.
An expansive tour de force, Olympus, Texas cleverly weaves elements of classical mythology into a thoroughly modern family saga, rich in drama and psychological complexity. After all, at some point, don't we all wonder: What good is this destructive force we call love?
STACEY SWANN holds an M.F.A. from Texas State University and was a Stegner Fellow at Stanford University. Her fiction has appeared in Epoch, Memorious, Versal, and other journals, and she is a contributing editor of American Short Fiction. She is a native Texan.
"There is a surplus of buried hurt and unspoken disappointments within the Briscoe family. It may be difficult for these characters to realize their flaws and tangled desires, but it sure is pleasurable to read about them...I experienced the characters' grief and regret as if they were my own." - New York Times Book Review
"A total page-turner. Swann's debut is rich in Texas flavor and full of nods to classical mythology--quotes from Ovid, twins human and canine, and the kind of relentless bad luck that usually means you've offended a deity." - Kirkus
"Luminous...This epic makes the most of its vivid Texan setting, becoming as well a love letter to the state's rugged beauty and homegrown familiarity...This teems with skillfully evoked drama and tragedy." - Publishers Weekly
"Olympus, Texas portrays the messy realities of modern relationships and blended families...Swann immerses readers in small-town life while generously endowing each character with depth and agency...Rich and compelling." - Booklist
"Fans of mythology will enjoy spotting the tragic parallels between Swann's characters and the Greek and Roman gods...Swann's prose is deeply descriptive and her characters heartfelt, but it all boils down to whether anyone in this family can get past their selfish feelings, unrestrained passions and bottled-up anger long enough to forgive each other." - BookPage
"[Swann] possesses a distinctive voice, a Southern style of storytelling as befits Baja Louisiana. East Texas, in all its primordial, primeval, practically biblical glory [is] the fitting setting for the fictional Olympus and the sins of its minor deities...Tucked inside the action of each day [are] origin stories (a Greek chorus, if you will)--of rage and broken hearts and mistakes and youthful promises impossible to keep--offering explanations for the now-fraught relationships that lend much to the richness of these characters...Swann is skillful at foreshadowing unseemly mysteries, laugh-out-loud dialogue, and extracting maximum texture from analogies without being wordy... This debut novel is a great combination of rollicking entertainment and timeless philosophical questions--a big, messy family saga about home and love and how we mere mortals fail each but try, try again." - Lone Star Literary Life