fbpx
Provenance: A Novel by Sue Mell. The brightly colored background is a stylized painting of a guitar in bright, rainbow hues. The painting is by Sue Mel.

Provenance: A Novel

(1 customer review)

$9.99$19.95

This item will be released July 19, 2022.

 

Winner of the Madville Publishing 2021 Blue Moon Novel Award, Provenance is a story of hope in ruin. With subtle poignancy and humor, it offers fresh takes on contemporary conflicts, exploring pivotal moments of sorrow, longing, and renewal in the lives of three deeply textured and indelible characters.

Clear

Provenance: a novel
by Sue Mell

Provenance: A Novel by Sue Mell. The brightly colored background is a stylized painting of a guitar in bright, rainbow hues. The painting is by Sue Mel.
Cover art by Sue Mell

WINNER OF THE MADVILLE BLUE MOON NOVEL COMPETITION

ISBN: 978-1-956440-02-7 paperback $19.95
ISBN: 978-1-956440-03-4 ebook $9.99
212 pp.
release date: July 19, 2022

The story behind Provenance: a novel

Still grieving his wife’s early death, DJ has spent the last three years—and the money from her insurance policy—collecting guitars, composing music, and continuing to shop the Brooklyn stoop sales and flea markets they’d always enjoyed. When his building is sold, he takes refuge in his younger sister’s half-finished basement, imagining a comfortable and solitary retreat in Hurley, the small Hudson Valley town where they grew up. Instead, he finds himself caught up in her troubling divorce, drafted as caregiver for his 11-year-old niece, and unable to face or afford a storage unit crammed with hundreds of vinyl records and every other scrap of his former life. DJ gifts his niece a marbled glass egg, a porkpie hat, and one of his prized guitars. But what’s asked of him, on his return to Hurley is not to give the perfect object—it’s to give of himself.

Winner of the Madville Publishing 2021 Blue Moon Novel Award, Provenance is a story of hope in ruin. With subtle poignancy and humor, it offers fresh takes on contemporary conflicts, exploring pivotal moments of sorrow, longing, and renewal in the lives of three deeply textured and indelible characters.

About the author:

Author Sue Mell, a study in black and white. She rests her chin on one hand, her assymetrical hair lies in waves on the same side. She wears glasses and has just a hint of a smile, or is it a smirk?Sue Mell is a writer from Queens, NY. She earned her MFA from Warren Wilson College and was a 2020 BookEnds fellow at SUNY Stony Brook Southampton. Her collection of micro essays, Giving Care, was a semi-finalist for the Digging Press 2020 Chapbook Prize. Other work has appeared in Brilliant Flash Fiction, Cleaver Magazine, Digging Through the Fat, Jellyfish Review, Narrative Magazine, Newtown Literary, The Journal of Compressed Creative Arts, and Whale Road Review. Find her at suemellwrites.com and on Twitter @suemell2017

 

What People are Saying about Provenance:

If you’ve ever suffered a loss, if you’ve ever had to start over, you will find kinship and hope and even joy in Provenance, the story of a widower seeking to salvage his life after moving back to his small hometown in upstate New York. I cannot recall reading a debut novel imbued with such depth of understanding and compassion for its characters, or one that better captures the messy business of living. Sue Mell writes like a dream. — Will Allison, author of What You Have Left and Long Drive Home

The story is compelling, and the relationships explored here are a study in the dynamics of family and social expectation. It reminded me in ways of novels such as The Shipping News—studies in mood and situation and character. The prose is gentle, swaying, warm, and inviting. It’s just plain beautifully written.— Clay Reynolds, Blue Moon Novel Competition Judge, and author ofThe Vigil, Agatite, Franklin’s Crossing, Ars Poetica, Monuments, and The Tentmaker

Provenance is a beautifully supple book about the power of renewal and the everyday, small redemptions hiding within families. Sue Mell artfully captures the hold of the past in all its intoxicating, tumbledown glory and sings it to life in the present.— Dominic Smith, author of The Last Painting of Sara de Vos

This novel taps into the characters’ reserves of motivation and strength in service of what we all want: another chance, and what might still be possible when our best efforts fall short.— Amy Hempel, author of The Collected Stories of Amy Hempel

In clear-eyed, luminous prose, Sue Mell tells the story of a man submerged in grief and impossible yearnings who digs his way out of the remnants of a former life. D.J. scrutinizes his vanishing options with the startling honesty of a man bewildered by circumstance, adrift in his suddenly unrecognizable existence, but always articulate, always a charmer. In this wise and beautiful novel, everyone falls in love with D.J., including the reader.—Megan Staffel, author of The Exit Coach

Sue Mell’s Provenance is a relatable, intricate novel about later-life reckoning that (like the antiques store it features) offers up plenty of treasures for the reader.—Debra Spark, author of Unknown Caller

Ultimately, this is a book about kindness, compassion, and sacrifice—old-fashioned virtues that, Mell shows us, still hold their value.—Peter Turchi, author of Maps of the Imagination

Sue Mell’s searingly beautiful prose and her truly troubled, truly decent characters make Provenance a gorgeous, unforgettable novel about learning how to value what is most important in life: those we love and those who show us how to be better.—Susan Scarf Merrell, author of Shirley: A Novel

Wisdom of great depth and span marks each page of Sue Mell’s Provenance. The reader intimately experiences the characters making the difficult effort to recognize who they were and who they are, not for the sake of easy absolution, but for the intention of living more authentically.—Kevin McIlvoy, author of One Kind Favor

Sue Mell’s Provenance is a novel of irresistibly messy lives, loves, and legacies that, ironically, reads immaculately. Not a letter, not a paragraph, is out of place in this beautiful, beautiful book.—Liam Callanan, author of Paris by the Book

Packed with exquisite prose, Provenance fills the reader with both admiration and anxiety—until the very end, when the main character, who fizzled away his previous life and has come to live in his divorced sister’s basement, realizes he might need to rethink his purpose.—Jane Anne Staw, author of Small: The Little We Need for Happiness 

Long after I read the last page, this book sings in my heart.—Olga Zilberbourg, author of Like Water & Other Stories

 

Weight N/A
Dimensions N/A
Edition

Ebook, Paperback

1 review for Provenance: A Novel

  1. kpdavis

    DJ has allowed life to happen to him. He’s hit bottom, but continued falling. In Provenance, he lands in the home of his younger sister and her daughter, where all is not sweetness and light. DJ’s sister is facing a divorce and financial catastrophe, and it’s time for DJ to step up and figure out what’s most important in life.

Add a review
Shopping Cart
%d bloggers like this: