F. Rutledge Hammes is that rare new voice you run across once or maybe twice in a lifetime.
A Curious Matter of Men with Wings is where magic comes to life in a bold story that celebrates the Gullah world of the South Carolina sea islands. With lyrical prose, the novel takes us into a hidden realm where life is still enchanted and storytelling abounds. In these pages, the transfixing Walpole family grapples with loss, the madness of grief, and ultimately healing, while surrounded by a community whose only salvation lies in the ties that bind them.
A Curious Matter of Men with Wings is a deeply-felt and masterfully crafted novel about one family’s coming to terms with a sudden loss — steeped in mystery — amidst the wounds and the secret wonders of the South Carolina sea islands. It’s been a long time since a novel has lifted me off the ground like this one did. Congratulations to F. Rutledge Hammes who has written a debut that is nothing short of stunning.
Magical realism comes to the Carolina Lowcountry in this quietly elegant debut novel… Hammes often writes with a poet’s touch, and if the story wanders into increasingly improbable territory, it’s one for which readers will gladly suspend disbelief… Readers with an interest in folklore, fantasy, and Southern letters alike will find this a treat.