Kim Boykin brings a powerful new voice to Southern fiction in her debut novel, The Wisdom of Hair (Berkley, paperback, $15, on sale March 5, 2013). This compelling tale of small-town Southern living is about one young woman’s struggle for change amidst impossible odds, and how her quest for love leads her to find friendship, real love and finally forgiveness.
Life can be beautiful, but it takes a little work…
“The problem with cutting your own hair is that once you start, you just keep cutting, trying to fix it, and the truth is, some things can never be fixed. The day of my daddy’s funeral, I cut my bangs until they were the length of those little paintbrushes that come with dime-store watercolor sets. I was nine years old. People asked me why I did it, but I was too young then to know I was changing my hair because I wanted to change my life.”
In 1983, on her nineteenth birthday, Zora Adams finally says goodbye to her alcoholic mother and their tiny town in the mountains of South Carolina. Living with a woman who dresses like Judy Garland and brings home a different man each night is not a pretty existence, and Zora is ready for life to be beautiful.
With the help of a beloved teacher, she moves to a coastal town and enrolls in the Davenport School of Beauty. Under the tutelage of Mrs. Cathcart, she learns the art of fixing hair, and becomes fast friends with the lively Sara Jane Farquhar, a natural hair stylist. She also falls hard for handsome young widower Winston Sawyer, who is drowning his grief in bourbon, and Zora believes she can save him in a way she never could save her mother.
As Zora practices finger waves, updos, and spit curls, she also comes to learn that few things are permanent in this life—except real love, lasting friendship, and, ultimately… forgiveness.
This poignant debut novel about the quest for change and the desire for a better life is something all women can relate to. Boykin’s authentic Southern voice and ability to create strong yet flawed female characters is certain to appeal to fans of Karen White, Beth Hoffman, and Susan Gregg Gilmore.
About the author:
Kim Boykin is a women’s fiction author with a sassy Southern streak. Her debut novel, The Wisdom of Hair, explores the camaraderie in beauty school and the holy connection that exists between stylists and their clients. The book is also based on the truth that women believe if they can change their hair, whether for a week, a moment, or a lifetime–they can change their lives. Kim learned about women and their hair in her mother’s beauty shop in a tiny South Carolina town. She loves to write stories about strong Southern women, because that’s what she knows.
Kim is an accomplished public speaker, serves on the board of the South Carolina Writer’s Workshop, and edits the organization’s monthly newsletter. While her heart is always in South Carolina, she lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, with her husband, three dogs, and 126 rose bushes.