Things You Would Know If You Grew Up Around Here
2015. 18-year-old Boyd Montgomery returns from her grandfather’s wedding to find her friend Isaac missing. Drought-ravaged central Texas has been newly inundated with rain, and flash floods across the state have begun to sweep away people, cars, and entire houses as every river breaks its banks.
In the midst of the rising waters, Boyd sets out across the ravaged back country. She is determined to rescue her missing friend, and she’s not alone in her quest: her neighbor, Carla, spots Boyd’s boot prints leading away from the safety of home and follows in her path. Hours later, her mother returns to find Boyd missing, and she, too, joins the search.
Boyd, Carla, and Lucy Maud know the land well. They’ve lived in central Texas for their entire lives. But they have no way of knowing the fissure the storm has opened along the back roads, no way of knowing what has been erased-and what has resurfaced. As they each travel through the newly unfamiliar landscape, they discover the ghosts of Texas past and present.
Haunting and timely, Things You Would Know if You Grew Up Around Here considers questions of history and empathy and brings a pre-apocalyptic landscape both foreign and familiar to shockingly vivid life.
Nancy Wayson Dinan is a native Texan who lives in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Her work has appeared in The Texas Observer, LitHub, The Paris Review Daily, and more. She earned her MFA from the Ohio State University in 2013 and her PhD from Texas Tech University in 2020. Her first novel, Things You Would Know If You Grew Up Around Here, was long-listed for the Center for Fiction’s First Novel Prize.