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  • Published: 8 December 2020
  • ISBN: 9780593286067
  • Imprint: Random House US Group
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 656
  • RRP: $49.99

The Big Door Prize




The New York Times bestselling author of My Sunshine Away returns with a captivating, quirky, and poignant novel about a mysterious machine that upends a small Louisiana town.

What would you do if you knew your life's potential? That's the question facing the town of Deerfield, Louisiana, when a surprising machine appears in their local grocery store. Resembling a simple photo booth, the machine, sponsored by the company DNAMIX, promises to tell participants their potential in life, what their body and mind are capable of doing, all based on the science of their DNA. All it takes is a quick swab of the cheek and two dollars to know what you could have been if everything worked out just so.

With just enough credibility to make the townspeople curious, the machine quickly enraptures nearly all of Deerfield, with surprising results. Soon enough, lives are upended based on the promise and possibility of one word: Olympian, Carpenter, Lover, Driver, Magician; bearing no mind that most of them have little to no life experience or talent to explain such a calling. Among them are Douglas Hubbard, the high school history teacher who, at 40, has hit a wall in life; his wife, Cherilyn, who never thought to dream of more; Jacob Richieu, the son of the town mayor living in his dead brother's shadow; and even Father Pete, the local priest connected to the townspeople in unexpected ways.

Deeply moving and full of heartwarming eccentricity, The Big Door Prize explores the ways in which the glimmer of possibility can bring a community together, pull it apart, and reveal the power of self-discovery and second chances, even under the strangest of circumstances.

  • Published: 8 December 2020
  • ISBN: 9780593286067
  • Imprint: Random House US Group
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 656
  • RRP: $49.99

About the author

M. O. Walsh

M.O. Walsh is a fiction writer born and raised in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. His work has appeared in publications such as The New York Times, Oxford American, American Short Fiction, Epoch, and Greensboro Review. His short stories have also been anthologized in Best New American Voices, Bar Stories, Best of the Net and Louisiana in Words. He is a graduate of the Ole Miss MFA program and currently lives in New Orleans, LA, where he is the Director of the Creative Writing Workshop at The University of New Orleans. He also directs the The Yokshop Writers Conference in Oxford, MS.

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