Jeffrey Dale Lofton

Jeffrey Dale Lofton

Presents His

Debut Novel

The coming-of-age story of Philbet, a gay, physically misshapen boy in rural Georgia, who battles bullying, ignorance, and disdain as he makes his way in life as an outsider – before finding acceptance in unlikely places.  

“Grandaddy taught me the rule of potatoes and carrots, loving guidance to last a lifetime."

Center for Fiction Longlist 2023

“Grandaddy taught me the rule of potatoes and carrots, loving guidance to last a lifetime."

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A portion of all book proceeds are donated to:

The Trevor Project works towards building a safer, more inclusive world for LQBTQ young people: a world where all LGBTQ young 
people see a bright future 
for themselves.

Born This Way Foundation, co-founded and led by Lady Gaga and her mother, Cynthia Germanotta, supports the mental health of young people and works with them to build a kinder and braver world.

“When moist, it had the texture of silken butter, but when the beating Georgia sun leached it of moisture, it was either hard or powdery, slippery even in the heat, feeling almost liquid against skin. That was the alchemy of red clay.”

The Reviews Are In!

Everyone Loves Red Clay Suzie!

Fabulous and heart-wrenching debut novel.

Rasheed Newson author, My Government Means to Kill Me

You can't help but root for Philbet, the unforgettable hero of Jeffrey Dale Lofton's arresting debut Red Clay Suzie. I was moved by the insights and settings of this book and by the vivid depiction of a unique childhood that feels universal in its longing.

Christopher Castellani author, Leading Men

If you've never set foot on the red-clay soil of Georgia, the heartfelt prose of Jeffrey Dale Lofton's Red Clay Suzie will take you there. This book is an intimate exploration of people, place, and identity, one that through its honesty - as well as colorful language and vivid description - opens up the idea of the South into one that is more inclusive and real.

W. Ralph Eubanks author, A Place Like Mississippi: A Journey Through a Real and Imagined Literary Landscape

Lofton’s descriptive prose is spellbinding; having never been to Georgia myself, I feel like I now know exactly what the air tastes like and how the red clay feels beneath my fingers in the garden. Taken together, the author has created an almost impressionist masterpiece of inner machinations and sensory experiences that leave you pleasantly dazed and content when you finally turn the last page.

San Francisco Book Review

From a new, pitch-perfect, Southern voice, a story so close to the heart you can almost hear it beating.

James Hart author, Lucky Jim

Red Clay Suzie’s Philbet Lawson joins Scout Finch (To Kill a Mockingbird) and Frankie Addams (The Member of the Wedding) in Southern literature’s pantheon of outsider children. Read Red Clay Suzie and cheer on Philbet, a new literary hero.

Alice Powers writer and editor, In Mind series

This is much more than a deeply moving story well told by a unique, new voice in Southern literature. It is a lyrical, poetic, and layered work of highest literary art. Red Clay Suzie belongs in the high school English syllabus.

Elaine Greenstone educator, former International Baccalaureate examiner in English, curriculum specialist

“He was that night a silver-tongued devil, a redneck raconteur. And he either said something Uncle Kingston didn’t like, or he was getting too much attention for his well-observed wit.”

from Red Clay Suzie


The Center for Fiction First Novel Prize

Seven Hills Literary Prize for Fiction

© Jeffrey Dale Lofton 2024