Dirty Little Angels, a novel by Chris Tusa

“If I had a dollar for every sentence in Dirty Little Angels that blew my mind, I’d be able to buy a decent Chevy Nova outright.” » Donald Ray Pollock, author of Knockemstiff.





Set in New Orleans, among clusters of crack houses and abandoned buildings, Dirty Little Angels is the story of sixteen year old Hailey Trosclair. When the Trosclair family suffers a string of financial hardships and a miscarriage, Hailey finds herself looking to God to save her family. When her prayers go unanswered, Hailey puts her faith in Moses Watkins, a failed preacher and ex-con. Fascinated by Moses’s lopsided view of religion, Hailey, and her brother Cyrus, begin spending time down at an abandoned bank that Moses plans to convert into a drive-through church. Gradually, though, Moses’s twisted religious beliefs become increasingly more violent, and Hailey and Cyrus soon find themselves trapped in a world of danger and fear from which there may be no escape.


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“Dirty Little Angels is the To Kill a Mockingbird of 2009. Brilliant, tender, engrossing, compassionate and challenging, Chris Tusa’s Dirty Little Angels marks the debut of a brave new voice in contemporary American literature.”

»Burl Barer, author of Mom Said Kill

“Dirty Little Angels is rich with characters who are beautifully flawed and within arm’s reach of redemption. This is a raw and tender debut.”

»Ronlyn Domingue, author of The Mercy of Thin Air

“Dirty Little Angels is a powerful novel – fast paced, riveting, and gritty. In this remarkable novel, Chris Tusa renders revelations about urban teens with startling honesty and deep compassion. Tusa is a gifted author and an amazing new talent.”

»Bev Marshall, author of Right as Rain

“Tusa is a new and powerful voice arising from the South, and there is no doubt we will hear more from him in the years to come. ” 

»Beth Wilder, Alabama Writer’s Forum

“I don’t read a lot of fiction, but Tusa’s book makes me want to wake up and see what I am missing in the world of contemporary literary novels.” 

»Shawn Remfrey, Armchair Reviews

“Chris Tusa has written a nasty little novel that somehow lifts close to grace its downtrodden and sometimes blackhearted inhabitants. They’re fallen and broken, but like the New Orleans through which they stagger and flail, they are lovely ruins–and like New Orleans they are only one storm away from the End Times. Witness the storm, as told by Tusa: Dirty Little Angels.”

»Josh Russell, author of Yellow Jack

“In Dirty Little Angels, the finely wrought descriptions of New Orleans and its post-apocalyptic landscape are wonderfully written and bring the city to life in all its miserable glory.” 

»James Claffey, New Delta Review

“I came away from Dirty Little Angels feeling the same way I felt after reading Faulkner’s Sanctuary, like I had just experienced great literature, a symphony of images, but also like I might be served a summons to appear in court for having committed some crime.”

»Gwilym Lucas Eades, Librarything