Local Author Kelsey Ronan’s Debut Novel is a ‘Love Letter to Flint’

‘Chevy in the Hole’ is out on March 15
Chevy in the Hole
Chevy in the Hole image courtesy of Kelsey Ronan

Flint native Kelsey Ronan releases her debut novel on March 15. Titled Chevy in the Hole, the book is described as a “gorgeous unflinching love letter to Flint and the resilience of its people.”

At the center of Chevy in the Hole is August “Gus” Molloy, a former Detroit farm-to-table restaurant worker who’s returning to Flint as he recommits to his sobriety, and an urban farmer he meets named Monae. Interwoven through their love story are the stories of their families, one Black and one white. Ronan details how, over multiple generations, the families have navigated both triumph and loss in Flint — from the GM sit-down strike in the ’30s to the ongoing water crisis — and she explores the relationships people form with their city and one another.

The novel, which is published by Macmillan’s Henry Holt & Co., has received advanced praise from the likes of Booklist, Publishers Weekly, and Kirkus Reviews. And Molly Antopol, author of the 2014 short story collection The UnAmericans, writes, “Kelsey Ronan is an extraordinary writer — incisive, compassionate, and surprising — and her debut novel, Chevy in the Hole, is a fierce and epic examination of the meaning of home, family, and the relationships we cherish the most.”

Kelsey Ronan
Kelsey Ronan // Photograph by Steph Hill-Wood

Ronan, who is now based in Detroit, has had her work published in Lit Hub, Michigan Quarterly Review, The Kenyon Review, and more. She teaches at InsideOut Literary Arts, a Detroit-based creative writing nonprofit, and serves as operations director for Room Project, a Detroit space for women and non-binary writers and artists.

To celebrate the debut of Chevy in the Hole, Room Project, located at 6513 Woodward Ave., is hosting a free book launch, reading, and signing event from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on March 15. Then, on March 18, Ronan will be at 27th Letter Books, at 4546 Michigan Ave. in Detroit, for a free event with Anna Clark, the author of The Poisoned City: Flint’s Water and the American Urban Tragedy.

Later this month, locals can catch Ronan at Detroit’s Pages Book Shop, located at 19560 Grand River Ave., on March 22. Then on March 26, she’ll be at Totem Books, at 620 W. Court St. in Flint, for an Author Meet & Greet and Book Launch event. Refreshments and activities will be provided.

For more information, visit us.macmillan.com.