Blue Bicycle Books, Charleston, SC

Katie Crouch and Grady Hendrix: High school friends publish on the same day

Friends Grady Hendrix and Katie Crouch were named “Wittiest” in the class of 1991 at Charleston’s Porter-Gaud High School. Thirty years later they have novels released the same day!

Order signed copies here:

Katie Crouch, Embassy Wife (FSG, 368 pp. hb., $27)

Grady Hendrix, The Final Girl Support Group (Berkley, 352 pp., hb., $26)


Praise from BBB staff:

Traveling in a Fried-Out Combi

Embassy Wife would already be a rarity — a smart, observant social novel about smart Southern women — the type who grew up in Charleston and Virginia in the 80s and “share a complex lexicon of Laura Ashley, white guilt, Dave Matthews…and the kind of sex that happens in a car during a church picnic.

But its Namibian setting makes it truly unique. Katie Crouch spent two years there and her insight shines without looking like someone trying to show off research. It almost reads like an African mash-up of Gatsby: Ivy League athletes, car crashes, smuggling, a much-too-late quest for lost love, and lots of drinking. Crouch sets the wheels in motion and all the elements come hurtling together like a combi minibus coming at you in the passing lane.

— Jonathan Sanchez, West Charlotte H.S. ’91


Final Answer

In the slasher genre, a “final girl” is the one character left at the end to confront the killer — think Jamie Lee Curtis in Halloween. Grady Hendrix’s novel The Final Girl Support Group takes six survivors of horror-film-inspiring traumas and puts them in a group therapy session.

We see the dark and conspiratorial precautions that are taken once surviving a fight to the death. We see the security, the backup plans, the backup to the backup plans. All with good reason, considering that someone starts killing off the six girls. The final battle / killer-reveal scene could not get any more 70s slasher — an all-out brawl at a summer camp. I often find myself wondering why it is that horror captivates me. Hendrix has given me an answer.

— Judith Arendall, not alive yet in ’91

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