"Loving the Dead and Gone is an absorbing account of two generations of women, living in North Carolina, who struggle to put love at the centre of their lives. How well Turner-Yamamoto understands the complexities of passion, the necessity of work and the limits of small towns. This beautifully written novel, with its complicated, stubborn characters, will haunt you long after the last page."
—Margot Livesey, Author of The Boy in The Field
"There has been an accident in tiny Gold Ridge, a place where most lives revolve around farming the earth or working the hosiery mill, and everyone is changed by it. In a voice that rings with the colloquial timbre of William Faulkner melded with the rural realism of Carol Chute’s The Beans of Egypt, Maine, Judith Turner-Yamamoto brilliantly uses a tragedy to draw us into a place so real you can smell it, where her tapestry of narrator voices captivates us with empathy and love. I was fortunate to be on the panel of the Ohio Artistic Awards in Literature that chose to award Loving the Dead and Gone, recognizing its lyric strength and deep and empathic understanding of rural America."
—Elizabeth Cohen, author of The Hypothetical Girl
"Turner-Yamamoto's multigenerational saga reminds me of Bobbie Gentry’s great Patchwork album, with a touch of William Goyen, Lee Smith, and Our Town. This bittersweet paean to a NC Piedmont hosiery mill town is a mid- 20th century time capsule of car wrecks, nerve medicine, open caskets, ghosts, and gossip. Bad luck and trouble ricochet between families until desire and memories are swept away. And yet, the female lens and circular narrative make Loving the Dead and Gone a sensory delight."
—Richard Peabody, editor, Gargoyle Magazine
"Judith Turner-Yamamoto's Loving the Dead and Gone is a love story that begins with a tragedy, proceeds through loss and suffering, and winds up in a place of deeply earned redemption. Though there are several characters who guide us through this unstoppable narrative, none is more breathtakingly rendered that Aurilla Cutter. Women like Aurilla, we say in the South, will live forever because they're too mean to die. Ah, but Aurilla has a past that will touch your heart and explain her present. She's an unforgettable character among a cast of unforgettables, from her put-upon daughter Berta May, to the heartbroken and fiery seventeen-year-old widow, Darlene, to Berta Mae's haunted husband, Clayton. Actually, everything about Loving the Dead and Gone, to Judith Turner-Yamamoto's great credit, is unforgettable."
—Ed Falco, author of the NY Times Best Seller, The Family Corleone
"Judith Turner-Yamamoto has written a brilliantly lyrical novel born of her native Southern heritage. Within these pages are the compelling and unforgettable characters of a North Carolina family steeped in love and generational conflict tempered by a tough country spirit."
—Kay Sloan, author of The Patron Saint of Red Chevys, a Barnes and Noble "Discover Great New Writers" selection.
JUDITH TURNER-YAMAMOTO’s awards include a 2018 Ohio Arts Council Artistic Excellence Award, 2018 Bridport Prize for the Short Story, short list; fellowships from the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and Fundacíon Valparaiso; Fish International Short Story Prize, Runner-Up; Manchester Fiction Prize, Short List; StoryQuarterly Scholar, Sewanee Writers’ Conference; the Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize, the Virginia Governor’s Screenwriting Award, two Individual Artist Fellowships from the Virginia Commission on the Arts, and a Moving Words Poetry Prize from Arlington County, Virginia Arts Council. She has been a finalist for numerous additional awards, including the Sundance Institute Screenwriters Workshop, the Cincinnati Library Foundation Writer in Residence, and the 2015 Eludia Award, Sowilo Press.
Her stories, poems, and nonfiction have appeared in magazines and journals, including The Mississippi Review, StorySOUTH, The American Literary Review, Verdad, The Village Rambler, Parting Gifts, Potomac Review, Dash, and Snake Nation Review. Anthologies featuring her work include The Boom Project, 2019, Fish Anthology 2016, (Fish Publishing, Cork, Ireland); Walking the Edge: A Southern Gothic Anthology, Dorothy Allison, editor; Gravity Dancers, Double Lives, Farm Wives and Other Iowa Stories, and Best New Poets 2005. She has taught fiction at the Writers’ Center at the Chautauqua Institution, the Danville Writer’s Conference, and at the Writers’ Center in Bethesda, Maryland.
An art historian, she is a critic and features writer covering the arts, design, and travel for Travel & Leisure, Elle, USAir, Art & Antiques, Interiors, The Boston Globe Magazine, among others. Her on-air interviews have been featured on “Around Cincinnati”, a weekly arts talk show on NPR affiliate station WVXU.