Matthew Guinn's debut novel The Resurrectionist was published in July 2013 by W.W. Norton & Company and is now available in paperback.


The Resurrectionist was an Edgar Award Nominee for 2014. It was also nominated for the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Achievement Award in Fiction and has been longlisted for the Crook's Corner Book Prize.

The Resurrectionist tells the story of Nemo Johnston, one of many Civil War-era "resurrectionists" responsible for procuring human corpses for doctors' anatomy training. More than a century later, Dr. Jacob Thacker, a young medical resident on probation for Xanax abuse and assigned to work public relations for his medical school's dean, finds himself facing a moral dilemma when a campus renovation unearths the bones of dissected African American slaves--a potential PR disaster for the school. Will Jacob, still a stranger to his own history, continue to be complicit in the dean's cover-up, or will he risk his entire career to force the school to face its dark past?


To learn more, listen to Matthew in an MPB radio interview here or a Memphis radio interview with Stephen Usery here.


“The best novel I've read in years, and absolutely the best first novel I've ever read, The Resurrectionist is just magnificent, a masterpiece. Surprising, compelling, moving, shocking, and satisfying.”

--Chris Offutt, author of Kentucky Straight


"Matthew Guinn has done something truly extraordinary here; he's written a novel that is not only riveting and beautifully written, but one that dares to step into the long shadow of class and race in this country, a shadow into which Guinn shines a natural-born storyteller's  illuminating light. The Resurrectionist is a stunning debut."

--Andre Dubus III, author of House of Sand and Fog and Townie

"A spectacular novel that seamlessly connects fact and fiction, past and present. Matthew Guinn is a novelist who possesses that rarest and most underrated of literary gifts--how to tell a story in such a way that the reader surrenders completely to its power."

--Ron Rash, author of Serena and The Cove​

"I just finished Matthew Guinn's fine new novel The Resurrectionist with a rare sense of excitement. It's relentlessly compelling, thoughtful, intelligent and just plain wise. It's a shame Robert Penn Warren is no longer with us, because this is a book he would love."

--Steve Yarbrough, author of The End of California and Safe From the Neighbors