Monday, June 13, 2022 - 6:30pm
2421 Bissonnet Street
Houston, TX 77005

Brazos Bookstore will be hosting Matt Bondurant in person on Monday, June 13 at 6:30 pm. 

Face Masks are required to attend the event.

Seating for this event will be limited and first-come-first-serve.

This event is part of Brazos Bookstore’s Summer of Indies! Click here to learn more!

In the wake of the 1900 Galveston hurricane, three lives converge despite persecution from the Ku Klux Klan, a bare-knuckle boxing match gone wrong, and the recovery efforts of the American Red Cross.

Based on a true story

The hurricane of 1900, America’s worst natural disaster, left the island city of Galveston in ruins. Thousands perished, including all ninety-three children at the Sisters of the Incarnate Word orphanage—except six-year-old Hester, who miraculously survived. Oleander City is the tale of this little girl and the volatile collision between the American Red Cross, the Ku Klux Klan, and one of the most famous boxing matches in American history. The bout, organized to raise money for the recovery effort, featured the enigmatic veteran “Chrysanthemum Joe” Choynski, the most successful Jewish boxer in America, and Jack Johnson, a young hometown hero known as “the Galveston Giant.” The storied battle forged a bond between the two legendary fighters and put Johnson on the path to become the greatest heavyweight boxer of all time.

Meanwhile, Clara Barton and the Red Cross minister to the sick and hungry as mounted vigilantes use the chaotic situation to settle old scores. After witnessing a terrible crime, Hester finds sanctuary with the ladies of the Red Cross, in a heartrending convergence of these historic figures.


“Oleander City bears down on its characters like a category five storm, forcing three lost souls to discover who they truly are. More timely than one would think, this tale of natural catastrophe, racial injustice, and lawlessness ultimately illuminates the humanity that motivates and unites us all. A certifiable page-turner, Oleander City pulls at you with the dark undertow of an America that isn’t quite bygone.”

-Adam Johnson, Pulitzer Prize–winning, New York Times bestselling author of The Orphan Master’s Son

“In Oleander City, Matt Bondurant braids the events of the worst natural disaster in American history with one of the great untold stories of American culture. Only a writer of Bondurant’s skill could achieve such complicated braiding. This is history written like a novel, a complicated legacy of human tragedy, race, and class distilled into one hell of a read.”

-Wiley Cash, New York Times bestselling author

Matt Bondurant’s last novel, The Night Swimmer, was featured in the New York Times Book ReviewOutside magazine, and the Daily Beast, among other outlets. His second novel, The Wettest County in the World, is an international bestseller and was made into the feature film Lawless, starring Shia Labeouf, Tom Hardy, Gary Oldman, and Jessica Chastain. His first novel, The Third Translation, is also an international bestseller, translated into fourteen languages worldwide. Matt has published numerous short stories, poems, essays, and book reviews, as well as feature articles specializing in adventure and endurance athletic events. He currently lives in Oxford, Mississippi.


Oleander City: A Novel Based on a True Story By Matt Bondurant Cover Image
ISBN: 9798200831166
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Blackstone Publishing - June 14th, 2022