The Meat and Spirit Plan: A Novel

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Coffee House Press, 2007 - Fiction - 225 pages
2 Reviews

"Like an experimentally inclined Annie Proulx, Saterstrom tersely renders the effects of social violence on individual lives . . . the effect is shattering and transcendent."--Modern Times Bookstore newsletter

In lyric, diamond-cut prose, Selah Saterstrom revisits the mythic, dead-end Southern town of Beau Repose. This time, the story follows a strung-out American teenager influenced by heavy metal, inspired by Ginger Rogers, hell-bent on self-destruction, and more intelligent than anyone around her realizes. She is forced into rehab and private school, and her life, at least on the surface, changes course, eventually leading to theology studies in Scotland. But as the feverish St. Vitus's dance of her adolescence morphs into slow-motion inertia abroad, an illness brings her home again--to face the legacy of pain she left behind and to find a way to become the lead in a dance of her own creation.

An heir to William Faulkner and Toni Morrison, Saterstrom soars above the traditional boundaries of the American novel with "exquisite, cut-to-the-quick language" (RaleighNews & Observer) that makes her novels "impossible to put down." Spare, raw, and transcendent, Saterstrom's unflinching examination of modern-day Dixie and contemporary adolescence lights up the dark corners of the American experience.

Selah Saterstrom is the author ofThe Pink Institution, a debut novel praised across the country for "letting gusts of fresh, tart air blow into the old halls of Southern Gothic" (The Believer). A Mississippi native, she is currently on the faculty of the University of Denver's Creative Writing Program. Visit her website at

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Val.Killpack - LibraryThing

A wry celebration of disparity This text embraces the coming-of-age story and takes it into new territory. Growing up is not just about finding the self, but it is about establishing a relationship ... Read full review


User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

A fragmented novel that lurches through the life of the unnamed narrator from girlhood through adolescence to rocky young adulthood.Early on we sense the narrator's desperation to construct a ... Read full review


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About the author (2007)

Selah Saterstrom is the author of the novels Slab, The Meat and Spirit Plan, and The Pink Institution, all published by Coffee House Press. Widely published and anthologized, she also curates Madame Harriette Presents, an occasional series. She teaches and lectures across the United States and is the director of Creative Writing at the University of Denver.

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