Southern Cross the Dog
In the tradition of Cormac McCarthy and Flannery O’Connor, Bill Cheng leads the new generation of great American novelists.
In the media
'An incredibly daring and powerful debut. Not only does Bill Cheng set the language on fire in Southern Cross the Dog, but he creates a whole new territory of story-telling. One of the great literary enterprises is the ability to understand 'otherness,' and Cheng proves masterful in his ability to dwell in another era and place, while still remaining rooted in the landscape of the human heart. Cheng, almost literally, writes out of his skin.' Colum McCann, author of Let the Great World Spin
'Fantastic and beautifully written, Southern Cross the Dog is an epic and bluesy throwdown in the Southern tradition.' Nathan Englander, author of What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank
Cheng rises head and shoulders above the crowd by virtue of one very convincing fact: throughout Southern Cross the Dog the reader never has any idea what will happen next. Chatham's journey . . . is as rollicking as the blues that one of its central protagonists, Eli, plays on his beat-up harmonium. It's a book full of flashes of thrilling darkness, surprising acts of kindness from bad people, and a social injustice that really crawls under your skin and angrily pulsates long after the novel is done. The overall effect is something like listening to a great lost country song, watching a Depression-era version of Spike Lee's When the Levees Broke documentary and reading the punchiest Cormac McCarthy novel there ever was, all at the same time.
Tom Cox Observer
Cheng jumps between times and place with superb power and assurance, driving his epic story up to the second world war. His writing fizzes with invention; he characters jump right off the page.