"An engaging novel and a beautiful coming-of-age story." ~Rebecca Makkai, author of Pulitzer-finalist The Great Believers
The year is 1963 in small-town Virginia. Willa McCoy is a strong-minded teenager who longs to follow in the footsteps of her father, an important member of the KKK. Willa believes the Klan is daring and brave—like the father she idolizes. She wants only to rise in his esteem; he wants only to keep everyone in their place. When Willa is sent to babysit for the new minister’s wife, Ruth Swanson, she finds herself at Ruth’s kitchen table with Langston Jones, a smart young Black man. At first they despise each other, but they have one thing in common: they both love Ruth. When Langston reveals a secret he’s discovered--that Willa’s father is having an affair--the once-loyal daughter plots to destroy her father’s reputation, unwittingly setting into motion a series of events that leads to her family’s demise.
About the Author
A.D. Nauman is a Chicago author whose short fiction has appeared in Chicago Quarterly Review, Willow Springs, TriQuarterly, Necessary Fiction, The Literary Review, and many other journals. Her dystopian novel, Scorch, was published in 2001 and re-released in a StoryBundle in 2019. Nauman is an Illinois Arts Council Literary Award recipient, whose work has been produced by Stories on Stage and broadcast on NPR. Though now a Midwesterner, Nauman grew up mostly in Tidewater, Virginia.
"A powerful coming of age story. . . . I can't recommend this book enough. I will be thinking about Down The Steep for a long time." —The Nerd Cantina Book Reviews