Last week, I mentioned that I would be back with a Literary Stylings post (style inspired by something you’ve read) featuring my husband’s first published novel, Hagridden. I’m so excited about this post, as well as my husband’s awesome accomplishment. (This book was almost a decade in the making, from concept to publication!)
“As the Civil War winds violently down, fears of the South’s uncertain future fuse with its unraveling traditions. Against the backdrop of this post-apocalyptic landscape, so littered with corpses and mythology and desperation, two women, stranded and alone in the Louisiana bayou, fight to survive.”
The book is hard to define, as it crosses so many genres: historical fiction, literary fiction, post-apocalyptic, gothic/horror, just to name a few. If you are a fan of Charles Frazier’s 1997 novel Cold Mountain, then odds are you’ll like Hagridden. The same is true if you like Cormac McCarthy’s post-apocalyptic tale The Road. It may seem odd to combine those two books to describe another, but that’s the nature of Hagridden — it exists between extremes and seeming contradictions. The book is set in a recognizable historical setting; the themes and writing style are modern. It’s about war; the main characters are female civilians on the fringes. It includes elements of horror by incorporating the rougarou (a Cajun folklore legend of a werewolf-like boogeyman); the story is deeply grounded in the all-too-true-to-life horrors of survival. Hagridden is gritty, intense, and utterly gripping. And I’m not saying that as the wife of the author! It’s just a damn good book.
I could go on and on, but you might be better served by reading some of the online interviews my husband has given, collected here on the Hagridden book blog, as well as the Hagridden-related posts on my husband’s writing blog. And again, if you’re interested enough to get your own copy of Hagridden, click here for links to the paperback, hardback, or e-book versions. (And if you’re wondering what the title, “Hagridden,” means, click here.)
And now for my sartorial interpretation of Hagridden!
I started with my black maxidress, because it’s feminine (two main characters are women), and the color echoes the book cover. I layered my olive cargo vest over the dress for a military vibe (I picked olive as a neutral, not choosing sides between blue and grey — the women in the story didn’t bother to choose sides, either) and finished it off by borrowing my husband’s braided belt (as the women borrowed bits of military uniforms they came across). I put my hair in a messy bun, not bothering to do much with it, and wore my new smoky earrings to pull in more bronze-y tones.
Details: Black maxidress (similar): Fred Meyer, this summer / Olive cargo vest (very similar, similar): Old Navy, swapped with Erin @ Loop Looks / Black strappy sandals (similar, flat platform option, espadrille wedge option): Lands’ End, last winter / Black braided belt (similar): My husband’s, old / Smoky earrings (similar): Clara Belle via ink+ peat, new
The setting for the photos is one you might recognize, from posts here and here, and I chose it for the look of the grassy reeds, as Hagridden is set amongst the marshlands of southern Louisiana. I also tried to get some photos that recalled the moodiness of the book — I loved the shots with the grass stalks in both the foreground and background, as seen below.
If you’d like to see pics from Hagridden‘s Portland launch, click here. I wore the same black maxidress to the release party, but switched out the accessories.