John Woods grew up in Barnesville, graduating class of 2005. For years. he has been writing literary fiction set in the Ohio Valley. His dream was to become a published author. That dream recently came true. His first published novel, "Lady Chevy," is set in Barnesville. It is published by Pegasus Books and distributed by Simon and Schuster. His novel has received high praise from fellow writers Woods has long admired:
"If Cormac McCarthy wrote women, he'd write them like Amy 'Chevy' Wirkner of Ohio. This is a stark, beautiful novel about a devastated land and its devastated people. From end to end, it's terrific, haunting and precise, deft and damning. A great new voice." – Tom Franklin, New York Times bestselling author of "Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter" and "Poachers"
"Lady Chevy is a compelling look at some of the bleaker realities of modern America, but the best thing about it is its humanity. John Woods writes with honesty and compassion about a young woman trying to survive in a dark and violent world. In doing so, he creates a heroine fit for our troubled times." – Jake Hinkson, author of "Dry County"
"Reading Lady Chevy by John Woods reminds me of my first encounters with the work of William Gay, Larry Brown, and Donald Ray Pollock. It's poetic and visceral, full of characters I won't soon forget, the place deeply alive on the page. It's a book of great emotional power, a book that's built to last. Searing, humane, and truly haunting." – William Boyle, author of "Gravesend," "The Lonely Witness," and "A Friend Is a Gift You Give Yourself"
"John Woods' ‘Lady Chevy’ is a hard-bitten work of the heart. He knows his people and their widely-neglected corner of America, knows their language, undying hopes and relentless fears. And knows how to bring them all to energetic life on every page." – James Carlos Blake, author of "In the Rogue Blood," winner of the L.A. Times Book Prize
In the book's acknowledgements, Woods credits Barnesville and the Ohio Valley, "I am grateful for my hometown, my old friends and teachers. Barnesville is real, though I have taken liberties with its fictitious character. The Ohio Valley is a beautiful, unique place, and it shaped my early education and experiences."
You can read a full synopsis and more reviews on Simon and Schuster's website, where it is available for purchase from multiple retailers. (https://www.simonandschuster.com/books/Lady-Chevy/John-Woods/9781643134284)