by Jill McCorkle


by Jill McCorkle


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Hieroglyphics is a novel that tugs at the deepest places of the human soul—a beautiful, heart-piercing meditation on life and death and the marks we leave on this world. It is the work of a wonderful writer at her finest and most profound.”
—Jessica Shattuck, author of The Women in the Castle

After many years in Boston, Lil and Frank have retired to North Carolina. The two of them married young, having bonded over how they both—suddenly, tragically—lost a parent when they were children. Now, Lil has become determined to leave a history for their own kids. She sifts through letters and notes and diary entries, uncovering old stories—and perhaps revealing more secrets than Frank wants their children to know.

Meanwhile, Frank has become obsessed with the house he lived in as a boy on the outskirts of town, where a young single mother, Shelley, is now raising her son. For Shelley, Frank’s repeated visits begin to trigger memories of her own family, memories that she’d hoped to keep buried. Because, after all, not all parents are ones you wish to remember.

Empathetic and profound, this novel from master storyteller Jill McCorkle deconstructs and reconstructs what it means to be a father or a mother, and to be a child trying to know your parents—a child learning to make sense of the hieroglyphics of history and memory. 

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781643751382
Publisher: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill
Publication date: 05/04/2021
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 645,414
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

About The Author
One of the first authors ever published by Algonquin, Jill McCorkle’s first two novels were released simultaneously when she was in her early 20s. Since then, she has published six novels and four collections of short stories. Five of her books have been NYT Notable books and Life After Life was a NYT bestseller. She has received the John Dos Passos Prize for Excellence in Literature and the North Carolina Award for Literature. Her stories have been included in Best American Short Stories and the Norton Anthology of Short Fiction.
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