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Meet the Author: Christopher X. Shade

  • Little Professor Bookcenter 2844 18th Street South Homewood, AL, 35209 United States (map)

Author Christopher X. Shade signs his debut novel The Good Mother of Marseille.

In The Good Mother of Marseille, it’s the summer of 2013, in the year of Marseille’s designation as the European Capital of Culture. Americans wander and sightsee this dangerous, impoverished yet seductive city. Noémie, an anthropology student, wants to stay. She wants to make the gritty graffiti-covered neighborhood of Cours Julien her home, but she’s running out of time, money, and her university sponsor’s patience. In the old port, the wife of an Alabama couple presses to see all the sights while her husband is losing his vision to an eye disease. Hovering on the fringe are the Marseillais, the shopkeepers, artists, café waiters. "Marseille with its hot dangerous streets, its bars, and beautiful churches becomes a character in this fresh and original novel," writes Sheila Kohler, author of 13 books including the memoir Once We Were Sisters. "Here we glimpse anew intriguing and moving facets of human nature so skillfully and believably portrayed.”

Author Christopher X. Shade was raised in Alabama, and now lives with his wife in New York City. He is co-founder and co-editor of Cagibi, at, a journal of poetry and prose. His stories and book reviews have appeared widely, and he has won story awards including the 2016 Writers at Work fellowship competition. He teaches fiction and poetry writing at The Writers Studio. This is his first book.


“The Good Mother of Marseille is a beautiful and memorable debut, a melancholy tale of both lost and found, a love letter to the night-lights of France, a movable feast for this 21st century.” —Scott Cheshire, author of High as the Horses’ Bridle

“A remarkable work of imagination, a debut novel that not only introduces us to a gifted writer of fiction, but offers a beguiling glimpse into the zeitgeist of a generation’s appetite for the exotic and the mysterious. In the Hemingway tradition, its many linked stories gel into one compelling story of Americans abroad. Shade’s sensitivity toward his characters is infectious, and, quite frankly, unforgettable.” —Philip Schultz, Pulitzer Prize-winning author most recently of Luxury and The Wherewithal: A Novel in Verse