Publisher description for The Watermelon King / Daniel Wallace.

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Counter From a beloved author whose work has been praised for its "wit, subtle compassion, and an offbeat originality" (Boston Globe) comes a novel as unforgettable as it is compelling. The Watermelon King takes readers back to Ashland, Alabama -- immortalized in Big Fish -- a fictional town whose identity is based on its long-ago abundance of watermelons. Thomas Rider knows almost nothing about his parents, only that his mother died the day he was born in Ashland. When his grandfather dies, he travels there and interviews the townspeople, learning of the town's bizarre past. Most important, he learns about the Watermelon Festival, which at one time occurred annually and would symbolically ensure the continued fertility of the crop that sustained them -- and how his mother came to destroy it. Piecing together his own identity as well as that of the town, Thomas finds himself immersed in a series of events that turns everything he knows upside down. Outrageous at times and heartbreaking at others, The Watermelon King is a vivid exploration of the power of history and of storytelling, of identity and myth. This novel is Wallace's bravest, most provocative, and most inventive work to date.

Library of Congress subject headings for this publication: Grandfathers Death Fiction, Maternal deprivation Fiction, Watermelon industry Fiction, Young men Fiction, Alabama Fiction