Turning Bones, by author Lee Martin
Turning Bones

“[A] lyrical, imaginative work. . . . [T]his ambitious work weaves together many strong, intriguing people, brought together by a skillful writer for a family reunion across time.”
Publishers Weekly

“Like the celebrants in Madagascar who practice the ‘turning of bones’ ritual—dancing with their ancestors’ corpses—Lee Martin unearths his ancestors’ stories and places them alongside his own, creating a dance of power and grace. Turning Bones is a skillful blending of lyrical prose, painstaking research, and well-wrought fiction that calls up the dead and wakes us, the living, into a freshly imagined world.”
—Rebecca McClanahan, author of The Riddle Song and Other Rememberings

“A beautiful intertwining of memoir and personal historical fiction. In a thoughtful, contemplative way, Martin works like his own private detective to make sense of his family and his place in the larger world.”
—Mary Swander, author of Out of This World: A Journey of Healing

 “Lee Martin animates his family tree with a variety and vibrancy of stunning prose engines. Rarely are story and history so effortlessly and enjoyably entwined. Rarer still is this hybrid fruit of the said intersection. Turning Bones is a miraculous and many-splendored invention.”
—Michael Martone, author of The Blue Guide to Indiana

Turning Bones epitomizes creative nonfiction at its best, fusing the deep, seasonal rhythms of lyric poetry and a believable story which, like a great novel, brings wisdom and tears.”
—Jonathan Holden, author of Guns and Boyhood in America: A Memoir of Growing Up in the 50s

“Martin brings his forebears to life with affection and empathy, brilliantly interweaving their stories with his own, and leaving us with a greater appreciation that our lives are but a series of intersecting tales, ones that, with luck, we add to and continue to tell.”
—Kathleen Finneran, author of The Tender Land: A Family Love Story

Turning Bones is part memoir, part epic, and part historical fiction. Lee Martin weaves creative technique, research, and personal essay together beautifully, shedding light on history and teaching the reader something new about not only America’s maturation, but about modern life as well. . . . It’s a book like this that makes you realize you’ve come from somewhere real and tangible, and that those places and people are a part of you and will be a part of many generations to come.”
—J. Albin Larson, Mid-American Review

"A moving family history and cultural excavation."
The Virginia Quarterly Review

"Through white space, Martin guides readers through his tale of his family's past, as well as his own, in a captivating tale of love, heartbreak, and redemption."
—Ashlee Clark, Ohioana Quarterly