Author with Mississippi Ties Releases Debut Southern Fiction Book

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Novel by Arthur Byrd explores themes of aging, loyalty, treachery, kinship

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A Branchburg, N.J.-based author with Mississippi roots has released his debut southern fiction book. In “What the River Wants,” Arthur Byrd, a retired computer technology executive, explores themes of aging, loyalty, treachery and kinship through an emotionally complex and diverse cast of characters.

In the novel, Byrd, who was raised in Petal, Miss., cements the archetype of traditional southern values into the book’s eclectic cast and their conflicts. “What the River Wants” tells the tale of a teenager’s coming-of-age journey and a grandfather’s grappling with his twilight years through the lens of a fractured south Mississippi family.

“This is a book about ordinary people leading lives of integrity and struggling to find their meaning,” Byrd said. “The dynamics of characters in the book draw from things I sensed around me when I was younger or things I wished I’d found.”

“What the River Wants” emphasizes loyalty to family and friends as the deepest source of lasting relationships. With strong female characters and dynamic relationships, Byrd’s novel examines the positive nature of personal growth and destructive nature of stalled emotional development.

“What the River Wants”
By Arthur Byrd
ISBN: 9781532008252 (hardback); 9781532008238 (paperback); 9781532008245 (electronic)
Available at the iUniverse Online Bookstore, Barnes & Noble and Amazon

About the author
Arthur Byrd is a retired computer technology executive and CEO with a master’s degree in English. Raised in Petal, Miss., Byrd taught high school and college in both Mississippi and Oklahoma. He currently splits his time between the Dominican Republic and his residence in Branchburg, N.J., and his debut southern fiction book, titled “What the River Wants,” received an honorable mention for fiction in the Great Southeast Book Festival. To learn more, please visit


Review Copies & Interview Requests:
LAVIDGE – Phoenix
Danielle Grobmeier
480-998-2600 x 614

General Inquiries:
LAVIDGE – Phoenix    
Maggie Driver    
480-998-2600 x 584    

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