The Patron Saint of Ugly (Manilla)

Marie Manilla. The Patron Saint of Ugly. Boston, Mass.: Mariner Books, 2014. 352 pages. Softcover. $13.95.

At first glance, the brilliant red popping out of a blue sky on the cover of Marie Manilla’s novel The Patron Saint of Ugly flows like a cloak, but is actually a mane of red hair with only one aquamarine eye peeking out of a face. Why are tiny figures of elderly women and young children climbing the mass of hair, as though it were a crimson hillside? one might ask on further study. But once the reader moves into the book itself, she soon learns that the cover supplies a dominant image for the novel.

Subscribe to read the full text.

Grace Toney Edwards is professor emeritus of Appalachian Studies and English at Radford University. Dr. Edwards was the founder and director of the Appalachian Regional Studies Center at Radford, from which she retired after thirty years of teaching and administrative work. She is senior editor of A Handbook to Appalachia: An Introduction to the Region and co-editor of the literature section of The Encyclopedia of Appalachia.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *