Jon Pineda is a Southern writer you need to keep your eye on. His latest novel, Let No One Get Hurt, has won praise from writers Lauren Groff and Wiley Cash, comparisons to Huck Finn and Jesmyn Ward, and stars from just about every reviewer out there.
Fifteen-year-old Pearl is squatting in an abandoned boathouse with her father, a disgraced college professor, and two other grown men, deep in the swamps of the American South. All four live on the fringe, scavenging what they can, and despite the isolation, Pearl feels at home with her makeshift family. Enter Mason Boyd, aka “Main Boy,” from a nearby affluent neighborhood where he and his raucous friends ride around in tricked-out golf carts, shoot their fathers’ shotguns, and aspire to make Internet pranking videos. While Pearl is out scavenging in the woods, she meets Main Boy, who eventually reveals that his father has purchased the property on which Pearl and the others are squatting. With all the power in Main Boy’s hands, a very unbalanced relationship forms between the two kids, culminating in a devastating scene of violence and humiliation.
Let No One Get Hurt reads with equal parts fairytale idyll and looming darkness. Come hear Jon in conversation on Sunday May 20 at 1pm. This event is completely free.