"'Betty Baach' has an aggressive quirkiness (many chapters end with an aphorism like, 'I am a llama and you are too') that peels back to reveal a core of rage. It demands to be read more than once"
–The Washington Post
"Glenn Taylor has one of the best ears in all of American literature. His is a rowdy, rooted, tender troubadour poet's heart."
–Claire Vaye Watkins, author of I Love You But I've Chosen Darkness
"Each song tells part of Betty’s story, a memory here, an allegory there, and adventure in the next song. Her songs follow an emotional throughline, rather than a linear one, and as her memories bump into one another, they create a journey akin to a great album, rather than a history."
–Pittsburgh Institute for Nonprofit Journalism
“‘Bend me your ear and I'll tell you a story about everything,’ begins the wondrous Songs of Betty Baach . . . Our guide here speaks with such knowing, witty, sorrowing wisdom, the voice becomes both urgent and inevitable, hallmarks of our greatest literature.”
—Edie Meidav, author of
Another Love Discourse
"Taylor’s Juniper Prize-winning fourth novel, The Songs of Betty Baach, is a collection of 'songs,' brief chapters that move with vibrant musicality, humor, and images from a near speculative future (2038)."
–Chicago Review of Books
“Brilliant . . . Taylor’s tuned to a visionary frequency you’ve never heard or imagined. Get ready to fly.”
—Ann Pancake, author of
Me and My Daddy Listen to Bob Marley
"Make no mistake. This is no allegory. This is a call to arms. Betty entrusts us with her songs because 'I am not a robot and neither are you.' She may leave it up to us to create the next song for humanity, but for our Betty’s sake, please don’t sell out. I call her ‘our Betty’ because she acts in the world as I’d hope a grandmother who has seen the worst of humanity would: a tireless defender and unfathomably deep lover."
–Southern Review of Books
"Kept me reading every night, thinking of this world we have now and the world Betty has navigated for centuries, and the way Glenn Taylor has captured the verses of how women walk that rope bridge of love, desire, caretaking, ferocious loyalty, and deep immersion into the land . . . I can't wait to start re-reading this novel, in the dark, again."
author of Mecca
Glenn Taylor’s fourth novel, The Songs of Betty Baach was published in March 2023. His first novel, The Ballad of Trenchmouth Taggart was a finalist for the 2008 National Book Critics Circle Award. Glenn’s work has appeared in such venues as Oxford American, Tin House, Electric Literature, and Huizache. Born and raised in Huntington, West Virginia, he now resides in Morgantown, where he teaches in the MFA Program at West Virginia University.
photo by Margaret Hanshaw Taylor