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Published on January 2nd, 2019 | by TLV News


North Mississippi Native, Doctor and Award-Winning Writer Pens Unforgettable Debut Novel

Shirtless Men Drink Free by Mississippi native and Ole Miss Alum Dwaine Rieves Slated for January 2019 Release

Published by Leapfolio, a division of Tupelo Press, Shirtless Men Drink Free will be available on January 8, 2019.

Award-winning writer, Ole Miss Alum and Mississippi native Dwaine Rieves will celebrate the release of his debut novel, Shirtless Men Drink Freeon January 8, 2019. Published by Tupelo Press joint venture partner LeapfolioShirtless Men Drink Free will be available where fine books are sold.

Rieves, a physician and winner of the River Styx International Poetry Prize and the Tupelo Press Prize for Poetry, delivers a captivating, confident, and assured debut novel in Shirtless Men Drink Free.  Set against the backdrop of a wildly polarizing election, Shirtless Men Drink Free is the story of souls—and the bodies that won’t let them go. 

About Shirtless Men Drink Free:  Doctor Jane Beekman has seen her dying mother’s soul, a vision above the bed—a soul struggling with a decision, some undone task, something in this world too noble to leave. The sight, however brief, was surely a lesson.  The question that lingers—why?—prompts a shift in the doctor’s priorities.  In this election year, Jane must do what her mother, an aspiring social activist, would have done. Soon, Jane is embroiled in the world of Georgia politics, working to make sure her dynamic younger brother-in-law Jackson Beekman is selected as the next governor, regardless of what the soul of the candidate’s dead father or that of his living brother—Jane’s husband—might want done.  Indeed, it is a mother’s persistence and a father’s legacy that will ultimately turn one Beekman brother against the other, launching a struggle with moral consequences that may extend far beyond Georgia. Set amidst 2004’s polarizing election fears—immigrants and job take-overs, terrorists in waiting, homosexuals, and outsider agendas—Shirtless Men Drink Free makes vivid the human soul’s struggle in a world bedeviled by desire and the fears that leave us all asking—Why?

Engaging, beautifully written and resplendent with realism, Shirtless Men Drink Free is a standout debut destined to stay with readers long after the final page is turned. Thoughtful and thought-provoking, poignant, poetic, and populated with unforgettable characters, Shirtless Men Drink Free explores the impact of a parent’s death and legacy on the lives of surviving sons and daughters. A meticulously crafted tale that showcases an outstanding new voice in Southern fiction, Shirtless Men Drink Free has garnered high advance praise:

“Dwaine Rieves writes fiction with such authority that it’s hard to believe Shirtless Men Drink Free is a first novel and not a tenth. This is brilliant and rare work, as attentive to an absorbing plot as it is to a poetic, chiseled cadence.”—Paul Lisicky, award-winning author of The Narrow Door: A Memoir of Friendship

“These characters are all too real. Rieves, as Faulkner, McMurtry, and Larry Brown, writes people and story that will worm, burrow into you.  Change you even.”Adam Van Winkle, Founder and Editor, Cowboy Jamboree

“A powerfully immersive and moving novel with richly developed characters whose voices range from edgy to elegiac.  Vividly sensuous, this novel is full of textures, sounds and smells.  Rieves tells a terrific story with the sensitivity of a poet.  This is as haunting and wise a novel as any you will read this year.” —Margaret Meyers, author of Swimming in the Congo

Dwaine Rieves was born and raised in Monroe County, Mississippi. Follow­ing a career as a research pharmaceutical scientist and critical care physician, Rieves completed an MA in writing from Johns Hopkins University. His poetry has won the Tupelo Press Prize for Poetry and the River Styx International Poetry Prize. His writing has appeared in The Washington Post, The Baltimore Sun, Virginia Quarterly Review, The Georgia Review and other publications.

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The Local Voice is a bimonthly entertainment guide and newspaper based in Oxford, Mississippi, covering and distributed in North Central Mississippi, including Oxford, Ole Miss, Taylor, Abbeville, Water Valley, Lafayette County, Yalobusha County, and parts of Panola County, Marshall County, and Tupelo . The Local Voice is distributed free to over 255 locations in North Mississippi and also available as a full color PDF download worldwide on the internet.

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