UnknownNEW ORLEANS (press release) – THE BIG DOOR PRIZE by New Orleans author M.O. Walsh, which comes out on September 8, 2020. Walsh’s debut novel, My Sunshine Away, was a New York Times bestseller, a BEA Buzz pick, an Entertainment Weekly “Must List” pick, and a critically acclaimed “wrenching and wondrous coming-of-age tale” (People). It was called “unputdownable” (O, The Oprah Magazine), “marvelous” (Dallas Morning News), and “[a] rich, unexpected, exceptional book” (Chicago Tribune). Now Walsh builds upon an even more provocative and timely premise to weave a captivating and powerful tale of possibility, peril, and community in today’s small-town South with THE BIG DOOR PRIZE.

Walsh has a virtual event with Octavia Bookstore, in conversation with BIG FISH author Daniel Wallace, on Sept. 8.




On-Sale: Sept. 8, 2020 · G. P. Putnam’s Sons • ISBN: 9780735218482 • Price: $27


Quick Take: What would you do if you knew your life’s potential? That’s the question facing the residents of Deerfield, Louisiana, when the DNAMIX machine appears in their local grocery store. It’s nothing to look at, really—it resembles a plain photo booth. But its promise is amazing: With just a quick swab of your cheek and two dollars, the device claims to use the science of DNA to tell you your life’s potential. With enough credibility to make the townspeople curious, soon the former teachers, nurses, and shopkeepers of Deerfield are abruptly changing course to pursue their destinies as magicians, cowboys, and athletes—including the novel’s main characters, Douglas Hubbard and his wife, Cherilyn, who both believed they were perfectly happy until they realized they could dream for more…Written with linguistic grace and a sense of wonder, THE BIG DOOR PRIZEsparkles with keen observations about what it might mean to stay true to oneself while honoring the bonds of marriage, friendship, and community, and how the glimmer of possibility can pull these bonds apart, bring them back together, and make second chances possible, even under the strangest of circumstances.


Musical Notes: A longtime fan of the late musician and songwriter John Prine, Walsh borrowed the title of his new book from the Prine song “In Spite of Ourselves,” which he and his wife chose as their own wedding song. Moreover, Walsh came to think of Prine’s music as a way to structure his novel, naming nearly all the chapters after Prine songs and hoping that Prine’s many fans will enjoy discovering the dozens of allusions to his work seeded throughout the story.